In celebration of the 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day, journalists in Osun State, have seek for better well being and protection against external attacks in the course of discharging their constitutional duties.
They made this call on Wednesday during the special forum organised by the Department of Mass Communication, The Polytechnic, Iresi, Osun State.
The WPFD was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 in New York as a day set aside for Reporters to associate, identify and celebrate media workers all over the World.
Mr Salahudeen Abdullahi, the Head of Department of Mass Communication who welcomed the practising journalists, said journalists must ensure they stand for freedom, to defend the independence of the media .
“We must recognize the important role that Journalists played in our society and honor those who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession” he said.
Mr Abdullahi added that politicians and other stakeholders should recommit to value the freedom of expression.
” As we mark the 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day, let us recommit ourselves to the value of freedom of expression. Let us work to ensure that journalists are free to do their jobs without fear of censorship or violence . Let us recognize the vital role that the media plays in promoting and protecting human rights”.
“And let us build a future where the free exchange of ideas and information is celebrated and protected . Let us remember the brave journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession. Let us also recommit ourselves to defending press freedom and promoting the right to freedom of expression, not just for journalists but for all people. For it is only through this commitment that we can truly shape a future of rights for ourselves and for generations to come.” He concluded.
Mrs Olusayo Babatunde, a former Chairperson of Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, Osun state chapter, while delivering her speech, urged journalists to always report fact, to know when they’re meant to talk on the field and what they are to say.
“As a certified journalist, you’re not meant to report fake news, because fake news destroy the world and the organization you’re reporting for and even you as an individual” she said.
Also speaking, Mr Shina Abubakar, the Chairman of the Osun NUJ Correspondents’ Chapel Osogbo, encouraged government and media employers to prioritise the welfare and safety of journalists and called on security agents, politicians and other stakeholders to see journalists as partners in progress that should be supported and not attacked.
Abubakar lectured students journalists on how prioritise the safety of their lives while writing and giving account of an event.
“You may need to apply diplomacy to ensure that your life is secured. Always have it in mind that the security of your life is the utmost priority. Be smart, diplomatic and tactical in your approach to reporting.”
Chairman of the Online Media Publishers in Osun, Mr Jare Tiamiyu told the upcoming journalists to be dedicated, committed and focused. He said frequent research on both national and international news so as to develop themselves.
He urged them to o understudy those already in the profession as that’s the best way to learn.