The Institute for Media and Society, IMS has called for domestication and implementation of international instruments which provide for the safety of journalists
The institute urges the federal government to amend outdated local legislation which is inimical to the practice of journalism and Promptly condemn attacks on journalists and ensure that perpetrators are punished
This was contained in a statement issued by Institute for Media and Society (IMS) Executive Director Dr Akin Akingbulu on Saturday and forwarded to Solacebase as part of activities marking International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists observed annually on November 2, as earmarked by UN.
‘’Journalists, the world over, are recognised as part and parcel of the development strides of their nations. In Nigeria, journalists were central in the successful prosecution of the anti-colonial struggle and the attainment of independence,’’ said the statement.
‘’In the post-independence period, they have been in the vanguard of such noble assignments as dismantling anti-democratic causes and terminating military rule. Today, after two decades of our fourth attempt in building a democracy, the positive role played by journalists remain paramount.’’
‘’Unfortunately, the environment and conditions for the practice of journalism has become difficult. For doing their work, journalists find themselves detained and charged in court for treason or terrorism! Reporters who go out to gather information and provide professional coverage get arrested or brutalised! ‘’
‘’Many have been killed on the line of duty. But no one has been brought to justice in these cases. They remain unsolved murders! Little wonder the 2019 Global Impunity Index, published by the US-based Committee for the Protection of Journalists, CPJ, listed Nigeria among the World’s Worst Impunity Offenders!’’
It noted that yet, Nigeria’s constitution mandates the media to hold government accountable to the people.
It appealed to Civil Society Organisations to intensify campaigns on journalists’ safety and general welfare and collaborate with the media to deal with the frustrating environment and expand the frontiers of freedom for professional practice
Similarly, the statement challenged the Media to Put public information and education on the front burner on the safety and welfare of journalists
It urged the Media to strengthen investigation desks by providing support for investigative reporting on corruption in governance.