The Nigeria Union of Journalists, Ekiti State Council has congratulated all the media practitioners in the state on the celebration of this year’s World Press Freedom Day.
In a statement in Ado Ekiti, NUJ Chairman, comrade Rotimi Ojomoyela and the secretary, comrade Kayode Babatuyi urged colleagues in the state and all over the country 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 also called on both the Local, State and Federal Governments to give financial assistance to media practitioners especially the 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 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.
This year 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.