U.S. Consulate Marks Press Freedom Day with Thought-Provoking Sessions, Inter-Collegiate Debate Competition

On Wednesday, May 3, 3017, the Public Affairs Section of the United States Consulate General Lagos in collaboration with Lagos Television (LTV), a leading state-owned broadcast station, organized a program in commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day.

At the program themed “Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s Role in Advancing Peaceful, Just, and Inclusive Societies”, Consul General F. John Bray gave the keynote address underscoring  the United States government’s support of the freedom of the press. “The United States strongly supports freedom of the press. We believe that an unfettered press is essential for democracy to thrive,” Consul General F. John Bray said.

Public Affairs Officer Darcy Zotter offered welcoming remarks, while distinguished speakers including Mrs. Funke Egbemode, President of the Nigeria Guild of Editors; Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi, Publisher of Premium Times; Mr. Simon Kolawole, Publisher of TheCable; Mr. Tomi Oluyomi-Lords, Media Law and Ethics Lecturer at the Nigeria Institute of Journalism (NIJ) and Mr. David Ajikobi, Nigeria Editor at Africa Check explored the role of fact checking; media ethics and law; twenty-first century gatekeeping and the skills needed for digital journalism.

An inter-collegiate debate competition linked to the topics of the speakers held shortly after the speaking session. Public Affairs Officer Darcy Zotter chaired the debate judging panel of three. At the end of the competition, Lagos State University (LASU) students
emerged winner with journalism majors from the University of Lagos (UNILAG) taking second position. Nigeria Institute of Journalism (NIJ) and Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) also participated in the debate. All the participating students were awarded certificates of participation.