Monday, 4 May 2020

Gov't should support journalists during pandemic to do their job

4 May 2020 

...FG must protect media professionals to maintain press freedom

The Nigeria Union of Journalists have urged its members to ensure that reports they chun out about COVID-19 Pandemic were factual and reliable with a view to spreading authentic messages to end its spread.

The Union also called on government and others to support journalists to do their jobs throughout the pandemic and beyond while condemning all forms of misinformation and increased restrictions and punishments meted out on journalists.

The Cross River state Chairman of NUJ,Com Victor Udu made this known in a statement on Sunday in Calabar to mark this year's World Press Freedom Day, with the theme:""Journalism without fear or favour" .

Udu said:"May 3rd every year is marked throughout the world as the World Press Freedom Day with a view to reflecting on the progress recorded so far in the media profession and also remember all journalists who have lost their lives in the course of performing their duties.

"Today we join the world over to remind Governments and other agencies to keep to commitments made to guarantee press freedom and protect the lives of all media professionals.

"This year's theme :"Journalism without fear or favour" is apt particularly with the Covid-19 pandemic ravaging the world now; the journalist faces new challenges as front liners in the battle against the virus.

"To help put an end to the pandemic, journalists must join hands with government and others to promote media campaigns and sensitization and ensure that reports on the Covid-19 cases are reliable and factual.

"Today, we like UNESCO celebrate "those who stand up for freedom of information and for independent press and condemn interference through harassment, killing, imprisonment and all other forms of maltreatment meted out to journalists in other to gag them.

"We join our views to that of Antonio Gutterress, UN Secretary General to "Call on governments and others to support journalists to do their jobs throughout the pandemic and beyond and condemn misinformation and increased restrictions and punishments on the journalists.

"Regrettably we recognise the uncertainty created by the pandemic and urge government to take decisive steps to not only protect the Health professionals but the Media workers too to strengthen and maintain Press Freedom," he stated.

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