Press Freedom Day: Group rallies support for journalists’ safety

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By Olajide Idowu

A Civil Society Organisation, Initiative for Better and Brighter Nigeria (IBBN), Osun Chapter, has called for the safety and protection of journalists in Nigeria and worldwide in general.

The group made the call in a release  by its Coordinator, Angel Folorunso, in Osogbo on Friday, in commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day.

Folorunso decried the way journalists were being maimed and killed globally , in the line of duty, calling for special protection and safety of the pen pushers in the cause of their operation.

“We are appalled by the rate at which journalists are killed, maimed and/or imprisoned while on duty globally in the course of gathering and disseminating news

” A critical function propelling Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, incorporating the right to freedom of speech and expression.

“This right has been ingrained in various national constitutions as supported by UNESCO, an agency of the United Nations whose mandate is to ensure freedom of expression and the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity,” he said.

According to him, Osun IBBN is unhappy with all extrajudicial killings or maiming of journalists anywhere, including Nigeria.

“The theme of the World Press Freedom Day 2024 is : “A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the Face of the Environment Crisis.

“The theme is apt now that climate change is massively wreaking havoc all over the world.

“Developmental journalism needs to be enhanced to generate awareness on environmental issues such as deforestation, desertification, global warming, pollution, flood, and nuclear warheads’ threats and their consequences.l,” he said

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He stressed that in view of the enormous jobs heaped on the shoulders of journalists, it’s wrong to imprison, gag and kill them by both the State and non-State actors anywhere.

He called on governments all over the world, to compensate journalists who had been maltreated in the course of duty.

“According to International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Report, no fewer than 2356 journalists were killed between 1990.and 2020.

“Many of them were jailed and denied access to information with little or no compensation.

“We implore Nigerian government to enable journalists have access to corporate information which is the oxygen of democracy, while journalists should report issues fairly accurately on a balance scale,” he said

He called on civil society organisations, judicial actors and government to protect journalists and other citizens against all forms of attacks and extrajudicial killings.

He said journalists too should imbibe ethics and shun misinformation and disinformation by fact checking their stories in order to avoid falling into the unethical lure and lores of the social media (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Isaac Aregbesola

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