Working with politicians, I know how they view the media: it is a cat and mouse relationship. Journalists believe politicians are hiding something and politicians thinks the media is after them. They worry that the media is out for a spoiler with half truths or out right fake news. Former US President Donald Trump has helped in no small measures to discredit the purity of the Fourth Estate of the Real. He’s the leader of the anti news coalition world wide.
A little bit of him is in many politicians and people in governance generally. There is mutual distrust. Governor Agbu Kefas however differs so strongly from that view. He tells me that he believes the media is the mirror of any government. He agrees that the media can only assist in entrenching democracy. He decries any witch hunt of a media personality. Above all, he said the welfare of media practitioners must be taken seriously.
In a recent parley with news men in Jalingo, he announced his media policy: the media would be his eyes and ears in the public domain. He would be relying on them to fact check on his claims and assess his progress so far. He would be counting on their professional skills to be fair and balanced.
It is in the spirt of this that the governor is constantly now meeting with the media for self evaluation, fact checking and balancingof views. The latest edition of the media meet was very historic. The governor was in his tell it as it is mode as usual. It was a time for straight talk on both sides. And it was very fruitful.
Emmanuel Bello is Special Adviser on Media and Digital Communications to Governor Kefas
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