2017 WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY: NHRC ADVOCATES RESPECT FOR JOURNALISTS' RIGHTS

Posted: 2017-05-02


As Nigeria joins the rest of the international community to commemorate the 2017 World Press Freedom Day, the National Human Rights Commission has emphasized the need to accord full respect to journalists in the cause of discharging their constitutional duties in the country.

The Acting Executive Secretary of the Commission Mrs. Ovrawah who advocated this in Abuja at the eve of the celebration of the 2017 World Press Freedom Day observed on May 3rd every year, noted that the theme of this year's commemoration, 'Critical Minds for critical times: Media Role in Advancing Peaceful, just and inclusive Society', is aptly couched given the current situation in some countries including Nigeria where security and economic challenges have put more pressure on journalists to hold government accountable to the people.

In the light of the above, the NHRC boss urged the authorities not to hound journalists who may criticize them if they reneged in their responsibility of protecting the rights of the citizens but rather see such as a wake-up call to do the needful.

She however emphasized the need for the journalists to exercise utmost sense of ethical responsibility and political literacy in their reportage as this would help in addressing recurring mass violence and Conflict situation in the country, adding that independent, objective and neutral media can help diffuse tension, promote dialogue and curtail conflicts. 'However, bias and untrue reporting can exacerbate violence', she lamented.

She stated further that investigative journalism has a crucial role to play in uncovering economic and political corruption and wrong doing. She said the journalists have to maintain high level of professional standard to be seen and recognized as development agents.

She therefore called on government and citizens of, Nigeria to see mass media workers as development agents who are constitutionally empowered to champion the cause of good governance, peace and security.

Fatimah Agwai Mohammad

Head, Media Relations Unit, NHRC

08035911999.


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