Nigerian Guild of Editors has called for the release of all detained journalists across the country, stating that democracy thrives better in countries that cherish and promote media freedom.
The call was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of 15th all Nigeria editors’ conference (ANEC 2019) held at the international conference center in Sokoto state.
The communiqué jointly signed by the guild’s President Malam Mustapha Isa and its general secretary Mary Atolagbe Condemned all dictatorial tendencies against the media and stressed the need to collectively fight against all media abuses by non professionals; and frowned at all attempts to punish conventional media for the wrongs of non professionals on the social media platforms.
The communiqué also identified ownership interference as a key factor militating against the free operation of the media and therefore advised owners of both public and private media organizations to pay more attention to facilitating the smooth operations of the media as truly business outfits.
It stresses that, the conference was held to deliberate on the theme: ‘A Distressed Media: Impact on Government, Governance and the Society’ with the aim of expressing concern over the proposed fake news and hate speech bills and also to draw the attention of both the National Assembly and the Federal Government to the fact that draconian legislations have no place in Nigeria’s democracy.
The communiqué also canvassed the need for diversification, improved funding, collaboration, specialized journalism education programs, newsroom re-engineering among other innovations necessary for revenue generation and sustenance of media businesses.