In commemoration of the 2013 World Press Freedom Day, a workshop on ‘’safety of journalists was held on May 2 2013.
The opening remark was made by the Officer –In-Charge and Director /Country Representative of UNESCO Abuja Office Professor Hassana Alidou.
Four papers were presented during the workshop as follows:
- Lead paper: Safe to speak, securing freedom of expression in all media by Dr. Muyiwa Popoola, Head Communication and Media Studies, Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, Oyo State.
- Framework for the protection of the right to life and safety of journalists by National Programme Officer Communication and Information (UNESCO) Oluseyi Soremekun
- Addressing Impurity and the rising challenges to the safety of journalists and media workers by Executive Director, Advocacy Nigeria and Columnists
- Hajiya Bilikisu Yusuf
- The role of Ethics in combating impurity and promotion of safety of journalist by Shuaibu Usman Leman , National Secretary, Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ).
More than forty Journalist participated in the workshop which was interactive. At the end of the summit it was resolved as follow:
1 To get the message through the messenger must be protected consequently, journalist must be protected while performing their duties.
2 That the fundamental role of journalists in the society which made them subject to heightened risks and targeting more than others who exercise the right of freedom of expression and opinion suggests that journalists be regarded as a vulnerable category of individuals.
3 That Government and private media owners through proper remuneration should provide a conducive environment for effective and efficient discharge of journalistic duties.
4 That a synergy be created between the media and security agencies towards promotion of mutual respect.
5 That training and re-training of journalists is very essential and imperative to meet up with expectations of the changing needs of the profession and bridge the gap between the newsroom and classrooms.
6 That all regulatory bodies particularly NPC should be further strengthened to perform their statutory duties
7 That the code of conduct and Ethics is central to the promotion of professionalism hence the need for stick adherence.
Finally, the workshop appeal to all patriotic citizens to unreservedly condemn all forms of violence aimed at silencing the truth,
We should all be in solidarity with all those committed to media freedom and freedom of expression. We should also remember journalists being deprived of their freedom just for practicing their profession.
Members, Communiqué Draft Committee
- Gbemiga Bamidele, Snr. Asst. Nat. Sec. NUJ
- Ruth Tene Natsa, Leadership Newspapers
- Prinzo Nwanyadimo – NATCOM-UNESCO