The House of Representatives has launched the maiden edition of its Green Chamber magazine to “tell its own story rather than relying on others to take charge” of the House’s narrative.
House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila said the House decided to publish the magazine to promote “true and noble journalism,” which would not “massage the egos of lawmakers.”
“We have come here to show that in spite of the economic pressures brought on by the advancements in new media, it is still possible to do journalism with integrity, eschewing the false promise of clickbait headlines and fake news editorials,” he said.
He said the publication would throw open the workings of the National Assembly while holding the powers that be to account.
Likewise, he praised the efforts of the nation’s journalists who expose abuse of power. “I can say with absolute confidence, that this our democratic settlement could never have been achieved without the noble daring of the press.”
On his part, President Muhammadu Buhari who was represented by the minister of information, Lai Mohammed, said the magazine would combat the scourge of fake news as it affects the House.
Mr Buhari said that though the magazine was long overdue, it was better late than never, urging the house to make copies available online for the benefit of Nigerians in the diaspora.
Largely seen as excessively paid officials, Mr Buhari said the magazine would help change the public perception about the lawmakers.
“This wrong perception has resulted partly from the lack of understanding of the enormous work of lawmakers, especially outside the glare of television cameras. The public will be better informed on the activities of the House, and this will, in turn, reflect in an improved public perception.
“It will go along way in bridging the gap between the House and the public, it will promote the activities of the house including bills and motion passage and committee assignments which is mostly reported in the newspapers, electronic and new media.”