The General Manager of the Ogun State Television (OGTV), Festus Kehinde, has described the community media as a key agent of participatory development.
The General Manager said community media are also powerful agents of social change.
Kehinde made this known at the NUJ Press Centre, Iwe-Iroyin, Okelewo, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital during the 28th Anniversary and Celebration of Icons ceremony organised by Prestige Newspaper.
Kehinde said: “The role of the community media in Rwanda was identified as the major catalyst for the ethnic cleansing and genocide that threatened the very existence of that nation in 1994.
“No wonder there was a major outcry in Nigeria when it was proposed that a community radio be established to control activities of nomadic herdsmen who frequently clashed with farmers in their quest before pasture for their herds. Herein lies the dangerous roles of community media when not properly controlled.
“In the contemporary world, such element of the power of the media has become more entrenched in the minds of people and has also advanced in terms of practice and in the various options available for people’s consumption.
“We have identified that community media play alternative, oppositional, participatory and collaborative roles in our national development.”
The Publisher of Prestige Newspapers, Dada Olanipekun, urged the Department of Security Service (DSS) to obey court rulings, noting that they should release Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore.
Olanipekun also called on the Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade to release Agba Jalingo, who was detained for criticising the governor.
The organisers of the event awarded the Ogun State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Hammed Abodunrin; Provost of the Federal College of Education, Abeokuta, Dr. Ayodele Ajayi; the Executive Secretary of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Olalekan Kuye; Dangote Group of Company; Ogun State Commander Vigilante Group of Nigeria; Vice President of the Police Community Relations Committee, Alhaji. Ganiyu Olaniyan and former Head of Service, Princess Iyabo Odulate, among others.