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World Press Freedom Day: NUJ President Cautions Media on UnhinderedCoverage of Good Governance and Democracy

By Ahmed Abu, The Nigerian Voice
Comrade Chris Isiguzo
Comrade Chris Isiguzo

As the NUJ joins the rest of the world to observe World Press Freedom Day today, NUJ President Chris Isiguzo has cautioned that the media as pivots to good governance and democracy must be allowed to flourish unhindered.

In a press statement to mark the ocassion in Abuja, he noted that the World Press Freedom Day is celebrated worldwide every May 3 and it presents an opportunity to advance fundamental principles of press freedom and to pay solemn tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

The NUJ President regretted that while the media is expected to play a Vanguard role in our quest for genuine democracy, the working condition of media professionals is pathetic. He denounced a situation where journalists work without adequate remuneration or without any pay at all for months and called on Media owners to collaborate with the NUJ in halting this dangerous trend.

On safety and security of Journalists, Chris Isiguzo reiterated the earlier call by the Union for concerted efforts to promote the safety of all working journalists in the country.

While appreciating The theme for 2019 World Press Freedom Day which is Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation, the NUJ President noted that the media plays a very crucial role in the development of any country and that journalists and media professionals must be given complete freedom of speech to enable them perform optimally.

World Press Freedom Day serves as a platform to remind us of the essence of preserving vibrant and virile journalism at a time when the profession is facing increasing challenges. It also serves as an opportunity to call upon each and every pluralistic and independent media for global access to information and preserving freedom of the press in any aspect.

Chris Isiguzo expressed worry at the alarming dimension of fake news in the country which he said fuels religious, ethnic, cultural crisis and journalists owe it a duty not to be identified with the monstrous phenomenon.

"This is therefore an opportunity for us to stand out and be counted by not encouraging social media actors who fuel the spread of fake news with the sole intent of destroying the very fabric that holds us together as a people. I want to therefore restate that this is the era of developmental journalism and all of us must stand up and be counted", he concluded.