Alfred Kayode, Ado Ekiti
The Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ekiti State Council,Comrade Rotimi Ojomoyela has congratulated all media practitioners in the state as they joined the rest of the world to celebrate this year’s World Press Freedom Day.
The NUJ Chairman and the Union’s Secretary, Comrade Kayode Babatuyi in a statement released in Ado Ekiti, enjoined their colleagues in the state, and Nigeria to continue to adhere to the ethics of journalism and best professional practices.
The NUJ leadership called on all stakeholders in the media industry to renew their commitment to the fundamental rights to freedom of expression, and defend media workers at all times.
The union further appealed to the Local, State and Federal Governments to give financial assistance to media practitioners,especially media houses to assist them in making necessary information available to Nigerians at all times.
According to the statement:
“We call on the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture to extend financial assistance/bailout to all media organisations in the country as already given to banks and state government.”
“Presently, media organisations in the country are going through serious financial difficulty engendered by the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic on world economy, particularly the Nigeria monolithic economy.
This financial debacle has made it very difficult for media houses to remunerate their journalists as and when due. Those which are able to pay, pay ridiculous wages.
“These are factors and many more that are hampering press freedom in Nigeria and ‘s consequently, encourage noise in the practice of journalism in Nigeria.
“The contributions of the press to the country’s development and growth cannot be overemphasized.
The importance of freely accessing reliable information, particularly through journalism, has been demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic that in times of crisis such as this, information can be a matter of life or death, they concluded.
This year’s World Press Freedom Day marks the 30th Anniversary of the UNESCO Windhoek Declaration for the Development of a Free, Independent and Pluralistic Press.
That declaration led to the recognition by the UN of the World Press Freedom Day to be celebrated every 3rd of May worldwide.