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Wed, May

Press Freedom Day: NGE Calls For Laws To Protect Journalists

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The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has stated that media freedoms, freedom of expression and access to public information are crucial to democracy.

 

NGE is the professional body of editors and media executives in Nigeria that also recognizes the crucial role played by journalists, media workers and free/independent media in protecting the country’s democracy, in spite of the prevailing economic challenges. 

This year, the World Press Freedom Day, is dedicated to emphasizing the importance of good journalism amidst the current global environmental crisis. 

In a press statement issued on Thursday to mark this year’s World Press Freedom Day, the body requested the National Assembly to initiate and adopt a law to protect journalists, who speak out on matters of public interest, especially against abusive and strategic lawsuits, which are regularly initiated to silence them. 

NGE said this year’s World Press Freedom Day provided an opportunity for every stakeholder in the media community to continue to drum it to the hearing of both State and Non-State Actors about the importance of press freedom and the challenges being faced by journalists, including censorship, harassment, imprisonment and violence, and the urgent need by the government to take deliberate and sustained action to promote press freedom and good journalism in the country. 

The released signed by its President, Eze Anaba, and the General Secretary, Dr Iyobosa Uwugiaren, urged government at all levels, international organizations and Civil Society Organizations to protect and promote press freedom; ensure safety and security for journalists/media houses; and ensure that all restrictive laws and policies targeted at the media are repealed. 

“We celebrate the courageousness and commitment of journalists across the country, who continues to risk everything to bring us the truth and reliable/credible information. We also acknowledge the growing threats to press freedom from violence and censorship to disinformation and economic pressures.” 

“We pay tribute to the journalists who have lost their lives or faced persecution, and we stand in solidarity with those under threat or attack and those who continue to work under very harsh economic conditions.” 

The editors said that they will continue to advocate for press freedom, freedom of expression and access to information, adding that they are crucial to good governance, democratic societies and fundamental human rights.

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