To mark the World Press Freedom Day, the department of Mass Communication, Nile University of Nigeria, in collaboration with the U.S Embassy, Nigeria, organized a lecture on the importance of a Free Press, on May 3, 2018. Delivering the presentation was Ms. Linda Hervieux (an American Journalist and Photographer), who talked about the role of the media in holding government accountable.
According to Ms. Hervieux, working in an age where there are more obstacles (from the government, etc.) than ever to freedom of the press should not be an excuse for journalists to shirk their responsibilities. She cited Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward—the journalists who uncovered the Watergate scandal— as perfect examples of the importance of perseverance in the face of intense adversity. Bernstein and Woodward, initially dismissed and written off as nobodies by the larger media, remained unfazed and continued their investigations into Watergate, and were eventually rewarded with a place in the history books; as the protagonists of the greatest triumph story of journalism in the United States, and, arguably, the world.
Going further, she stated that the freedom of the press is not a guaranteed right anywhere in the world—there is always a tyrannical government/government official around the corner waiting to subdue the media if given the opportunity— making it even more imperative to fight against little acts of press suppression.
She concluded her presentation by urging journalists to pool their resources and collaborate on big stories together to ensure that they had the widest possible reach.
The event ended with an interactive question and answer session during which Ms. Hervieuxfielded questions from the audience.