Champion Newspapers Limited
For a better society

World Press Freedom Day: Groups urge govts to protect media freedom

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Four human rights and media support organisations have called on Federal and State govern­ments to take urgent measures to ensure media freedom and the safety of journalists in Nigeria.


The group said that the dete­riorating state of media freedom in the country was potentially harmful to its system of demo­cratic governance.


Their call was contained in a statement announcing their col­laborative activities to commem­orate the 2024 edition of World Press Freedom Day (WPFD 2024) through separate events taking place in Lagos and Abuja on Fri­day, May 3.


According to the statement, Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and Global Rights: Advocates for Sustainable Justice, in collabora­tion with the International Press Centre (IPC) and the Centre for Media and Society (CEMESO), would hold a hybrid convening in Lagos under the theme: ‘The Imperative of Media Freedom for Democratic Governance,’ to underscore the vital role that the media play in promoting trans­parency, accountability, good gov­ernance, and democracy.


The event would have media stakeholders drawn from among journalists and editors, media owners and managers, civil soci­ety organisations, the academia, and others participating physical­ly and virtually.


It would also include activities such as sharing of experiences by journalists who have faced various forms of attacks, a pre­sentation on the importance of counselling for journalists who have been victims of attacks, as well as presentations on various civil society efforts to ensure the safety of journalists and protect media freedom, which are de­signed to strengthen the media as they strive to promote democracy, human rights, and social justice.


A separate event would also be hosted in Abuja by Global Rights in collaboration with MRA and the International Centre for In­vestigative Reporting (ICIR), the statement said.


The event would be a Webinar titled: ‘Freedom of the Press in Peril – Raising the Bar for Press Freedom in Nigeria,’ which is aimed at sparking a conversa­tion on how to safeguard press freedoms in Africa and how the operational environment for the press can be improved in Nigeria and across the continent.


The event would also identify global best practices that create a conducive and enabling envi­ronment for the press and share experiences of how they could be domesticated in a way that makes them more easily accessible to journalists and other media pro­fessionals in Nigeria.


Proclaimed by the UN Gen­eral Assembly in December 1993, World Press Freedom Day is celebrated around the world on May 3 every year as a re­minder to governments of the need for them to respect their commitment to press freedom and create a safe and conducive environment for journalism and media practice.


Commenting on the collabo­rative efforts by the various orga­nizations, Mr. Edetaen Ojo, Exec­utive Director of MRA, said: “As the world celebrates World Press Freedom Day on May 3, we wish to reaffirm our commitment to upholding the fundamental prin­ciples of free speech, independent journalism, and the protection of press freedoms worldwide know­ing that a free and independent media is the oxygen of democ­racy.

Comments are closed.