By Lukman Olabiyi
Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has called for the release of all journalists currently in detention in country.
NGE also called for a review of the National Broadcasting Code and all other media statutes to bring them in tune with democracy and promotion of free speech.
The group in a statement issued to commemorate the 2021r Press Freedom Day, held that journalists across the world face grave challenges and dangers in the discharge of their duties.
It lamented that some have paid the supreme price, while others have been harassed and jailed, in the course of their duty.
“On the occasion of this year’s World PressFreedom Day, NGE, wishes to congratulate all journalists in Nigeria and across the world for keeping faith with the tenets of the profession despite numerous challenges.
“We particularly celebrate journalists in the frontline of COVID-19 pandemic coverage as well as those charged with the responsibility of reporting crime and security, at a time like this when the nation is struggling to contain the scourge of insecurity. We urge media owners, the private sector and the government, to provide special protection for journalists, as most of them are often neglected and exposed to sundry challenge, that not only impair their ability to discharge their duties, but also imperil their lives, culminating, in some cases, to untimely deaths.”
World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation ofUNESCO’s General Conference. This special day was inaugurated to act as are minder to governments, of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom. Besides, it also places a responsibility on media professionals to reflect on, and adhere to the principles of best practices that promote professionalism, ethical reporting and public-spirited advocacy.
The theme for this year’s World PressFreedom Day is: “Information as a public good,” which highlights the necessity of governments, state actors and the private sector to recognise the value of information as a critical element in leadership and service delivery.