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Wednesday, May 04, 2022

Lagos NUJ salutes members, urges more protection for journalists - ITREALMS

ITREALMS ... making leadership SENSE with digital news!

The Lagos State council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has given a warm salute to all media practitioners in the country as they mark the 2022 World Press Freedom Day with the theme: “Journalism under digital siege” which focused on digital challenges in relation to media and press freedom, reports 
ITREALMS.
Messrs Adeleye Ajayi, chairman, and Tunde Olalere, Secretary
A press statement endorsed by the duo of council chairman and secretary, Messrs Adeleye Ajayi and Tunde Olalere, they noted that freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the fundamental principle that communication and expression through various media, including printed and electronic media, especially published materials, should be considered a right to be exercised freely.

ITREALMS recalls that the United Nations General Assembly had declared every May 3 as the World Press Freedom Day observed to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression enshrined under Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In December 1993, the UN General Assembly proclaimed World Press Freedom Day, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference.

According them, press freedom is the right to hold governments to account, which includes the right of citizens to be informed by the media on public interest matters so that citizens can perform their role in society.

They stressed that a free press is generally regarded as an emblem of a free society.

"Press freedom and freedom of expression are the trademarks of democracy but they are also viewed as the benchmarks for measuring the political health of a country. A press that is forced to abandon its public interest obligation does not contribute to the growth of democracy.

"When journalists are restrained from performing their roles, they fail to serve as watchdogs of their society," they said.

Pointing out that the 1999 constitution guarantees the right of every Nigerian to freedom of speech and expression, especially at Section 39 (1) which states that every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive; impart information without interference.

On April 26, 2020, the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index ranked Nigeria 115th out of 180 countries surveys.

In 2021, Nigeria was ranked 120 on the World Press Freedom Index, a drop of five spots from its ranking in 2020.

"This calls for an improvement in press freedom. Suppressing the freedom of the press is attempting to quash the public’s right to know," the council warned.

Insisting that Nigerian journalists cannot uphold their professional obligations, if they are unable to operate in an environment in which they are free to report news.

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