Nigerian Journalists and their contemporaries all over the world have been commended in appreciation of their painstaking efforts towards ensuring that the public is properly and broadly informed about the goings on in the society.
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Zone B in a statement signed by its Zonal Vice-President, Comrade Ronke Afebioye-Samo on Tuesday saluted journalists all over the world for remaining resolute, hard working and undaunted in the face of myriads of challenges confronting the profession.
Which according to her, included hostile government policies, maltreatment and assassination of journalists by hostile stakeholders and poor remuneration for great jobs being done by journalists all over the world.
She particularly identified with the plight of reporters in Nigeria, given the fact that findings by reliable monitoring bodies that Nigeria ranked among nations that present hostile environment for reporting.
Samo in her release to herald the World Press Freedom Day (WPFD), urged journalists not to relent in their efforts geared towards ensuring that the society is properly, truthfully and broadly informed in a most professional way in spite of the hostility and threatening environment.
She added that such undaunting gesture will not only free our society, but also defeat the enemies of progress in the shortest possible time.
Noting that today’s celebration of the WPFD, has been tagged: “Journalism under digital siege,” , she identified with reporters in this age of digital hostility against the profession, urging them not to lose focus but continue to be resolutely professional.
Her words: “Today marks the celebration of our struggle for the freedom of the press and we must rejoice, even in the face of daunting challenges.
“This is because we have actually been winning the war against several attempts and actions by the hostile stakeholders to gag the press. The freedom of the press ensures justice, fairness and true freedom of any society and scares away evil doers.
_This is the reason we must remain resolutely professional in performing our duty as the fourth estate of the realm.
“According to agency reports, the theme of this year’s WPFD:”
spotlights the multiple ways in which journalism is endangered by surveillance and digitally-mediate attacks on journalists, and the consequences of all these on public trust in digital communications.
“The foregoing shows that our common enemy as journalists today is the challenge we are facing with being under a digital siege. While we urge our colleagues to be discreet and professional in performing their duties so as to avoid possible pitfalls and banana peels.
“We equally urge the state to urgently formulate policies and put in place frameworks that would protect the press from this emerging threat from advancement in digital technology. This should be done in a most patriotic manner because of the fact that a truly free press will bring progress, fairness, justice and true freedom for our society.
“On this note, l salute the courage and resilience of our colleagues in perfoeming their duties and also appreciate efforts by all stakeholders, especially friendly and supportive government agencies, non-governmental organisations and activists, among others in ensuring true freedom for the press.
“Happy Celebration Comrades. Long live Nigeria, long live NUJ, long live NUJ B Zone.”