Media executives at a forum organised by the Centre for Journalism Innovation & Development with the theme “Developing A National Policy For Safeguarding Press Freedom And The Safety Of Journalists” have lamented the state of security and the lack of protective mechanisms in place for journalists in Nigeria.
Citing various attacks on journalists and the effect of the turnout of these attacks on the willingness of the journalists to abide by the ethics of Journalism, the media executives analyzed some of the strategies used in clamping down on journalists, the effect of hostile regulations and censorship by state actors who use their influence and resources to attack journalists. These struggles and challenges faced by the reporters range from intimidation and attack on their families and job security.
Lanre Arogundade, Director International Press Center called for more collaboration from media organizations to strategically address these issues and speak up on stiff regulations from the regulatory bodies. Motunrayo Alaka, Executive Director of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism encouraged the media executives to collaborate and explore different options to encourage the reporters to religiously discharge their duties.
Stephanie Adams Douglas, Deputy Manager, Media Freedom, Centre for Journalism Innovation & Development addressed the need for collaboration between media executives and media development agencies to ensure continuous advocacy to sustain the movement for the security of journalists.
Also speaking, Busola Ajibola, Deputy Director, CJID emphasized the need to keep engaging stakeholders in the judiciary and legislative arms of government to seek clarifications on the suits like Strategic lawsuits against public participation intended to gag factual reports.
Inibehe Effiong, Human rights lawyer advised media organizations to approach human rights lawyers for collaboration to set up formidable committees to get subsidized legal services ahead of any intended attack against reporters or the organization.