Who Elected The Media To Regulate An Elected Government? Asks Cham Faliya Sharon
The media in Nigeria say government cannot regulate them but want to regulate the government. They claim that regulating the media is antithetical to democratic norms without telling us who then elected them (the media) to regulate elected governments. And so I ask: If unelected businesses think they can regulate elected governments, then what is wrong if elected governments regulate unelected businesses? Moreover, isn’t it the responsibility of governments to regulate businesses of all kinds, and isn’t this what America “the leader and champion of democracy” is showing by blatantly regulating foreign (Iranian) media right now in the US?
The often repeated cliché by so called media practitioners or media entrepreneurs is the claim that media regulation is tantamount to stifling free speech, which, to me, is a mere clever euphemism for the unhidden desire of such entrepreneurs to exert their own brand of totalitarianism on the rest of the society without being checked or held accountable. Round up a bunch of dunderheads spreading falsehood, hate and bigotry in the name of journalism, and you’ll hear deafening noises about freedom of the press under attack as if freedom itself is absolute!
In a nutshell, if the media cannot clean or regulate itself (and they’ve shown over time that they are incapable of doing that), then the society ought to clean them. And the custodians of public trust to do this laundry is the government.