Sunday, May 16, 2021

Nigerans task journalists on professional ethics to guarantee press freedom

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Journalists will be confident to demand freedom to do their job unhindered if they observe ethical codes of the profession in their reportage.

This was the charge to media professionals as the world celebrated this year’s Press Freedom Day (WPFD).

Orange FM’s Flora Iweanya reports that stakeholders are united in emphasizing that Nigerian journalists are some of the best in the world.

They also appealed that the press should be allowed to do its job as watchdog of society efficiently.

Every year World Press Freedom Day is celebrated on May 3 to highlight the difficulties which journalists face in the line of duty

Considering the difficulties which media professionals confront in the process of doing their jobs, constitutions of many democratic nations make definite pronouncements on protecting the rights of the watchdog of society.

Unfortunately many African countries including Nigeria have poor records on the issue of press freedom as journalists are often attacked, arbitrarily arrested or even killed while doing their job.

For instance on the World Press Freedom index no African country made the list of first 20 while Nigeria got an embarrassing ranking of 120, coming even after countries like Togo, Niger, Tunisia,Gabon, Zambia,Guinea, Kenya, Ethiopia, Mali, Liberia and Ghana among several other fellow African countries.

With more than 100 independent newspapers, Africa’s most populous nation enjoys real media pluralism but covering stories involving politics, terrorism, financial embezzlement by the powerful or conflicts between communities is very problematic.

On the occasion of this year’s world press Freedom day, the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterrez called on all governments to support a free, independent and diverse media stating that they are the greatest ally in combating misinformation.

Also the NUJ National President Chris Isiguzo who hailed Nigerian journalists for their courage and professionalism charged NBC and other bodies to fashion out ways to run the media effectively.

In the same vein, Secretary NUJ, Ondo state Council, Leke Adegbite called for professionalism and proper verification in news reportage.

Other journalists including Olumide Abudu, Ayo Moradeyo and Gbenga Abimbola urged journalists to always abide by the ethics of the profession.

Journalists on the occasion of 2021 World Press Freedom Day with the theme ‘information as a public good’ are expected to recommit to working assiduously towards promoting an egalitarian society.