Ahead of the world international Press freedom day on 3rd May 2023, some groups in Nigeria have advocated for the protection and safety of journalists across the globe
The groups; Network of Peace Journalists, the Community Initiatives to Promote Peace (CIPP), a program with coordination from the Interfaith Mediation Centre (IMC), and the Conflict Mitigation and Management Regional Council (CMMRC), kicked against all forms of intimidation, molestation, tortured and imprisonment of journalists around the world.
The Team leader of the network , Ibrahima Yakubu made the statements to mark this year’s world international Press freedom day in Kaduna
According to him. Promoting the safety of journalists and combating impunity for those who attack them are central actions within the Network of peace journalists’ support for press freedom and freedom of expression worldwide.
He mentioned that, in order to protect journalists, the network has suggested that, there should be 24/7 hotlines, safe houses, safety funds, safety equipment, legal assistance and emergency assistance in place for journalists by their unions.
While stressing also the need for continuous training in risk analysis and threat mitigating, first aid, secure communications, conflict-sensitive journalism, media laws and code of conduct among others.
He, however, noted that Journalists should be resilient, build support groups, raise alarm when threatened or intimidated, report incidents of attacks and seek legal redress for any violation of their individual and professional rights.
“This year international press freedom day comes amids of the Russia /Ukraine war, the Sudan crises claiming lives and properties, rising cases of banditry, kidnappings and terrorism in Nigeria and some parts of the world. “
He equally advocates taking into account the specific risks women journalists face; hence the need for media owners and other stakeholders to support in raising awareness on the need for the protection of women journalists around the world.
While suggesting that, there should be a global agreement between governments and media owners to guard journalists’ safety, he said; “Safety of journalists is the ability for journalists and media professionals to receive, produce and share information without facing physical or moral threats.
“67 journalists were killed in 2022, a sharp increase from 2021, according to report: A total of 67 journalists died around the world in 2022, a watchdog group said, largely driven by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and civil unrest following the assassination of Haiti’s president.25 01 2023
“In a media reports, it revealed that Since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999, at least 19 journalists have been killed – mostly in questionable circumstances.”
Ibrahima continued that, “Journalists around the world are increasingly being targeted, molested, intimidated or killed for their work. But one thing to know is journalism is not a crime.” He added
The Group of networks was created to strengthen commitments and to raise awareness on the responsibility of pen -guys so as to ensure a safe and enabling environment for Journalists and other media actors to work without undue interference or intimidation.
Accordingly, as part of the group work to support the building of national safety mechanisms for journalists with buy-in from local, national and international partners when possible, our approach to safety for journalists combines safety training with practical safety measures and advocacy for a safer media working environment.
He then concluded, by calling on media organizations to kick against the recruitment of unspecialised personnel in broadcast houses in order to avert recruiting quacks in an organization.