Saturday, May 4, 2013

UN rates Nigerian press one of world’s freest

The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr. Daouda Toure, on Friday said that in spite of some hitches witnessed by Nigerian journalists, it was still one of the freest in the world.

Toure said this in Abuja at an event organised by UNESCO to mark this year’s World Press Freedom Day, theNews Agency of Nigeria reports.
According to him, the press in Nigeria is regarded as one of the freest in the world in spite of some pockets of incidents of impunity and attacks.
“Unfortunately and sadly, three journalists and media workers died in the line of duty in Nigeria in 2012,” he said.
He said the United Nations family, through UNESCO, had dedicated a webpage in the memory of “these gallant colleagues who died while performing their constitutional responsibility.”
Toure said the UN system in Nigeria had consistently promoted freedom of expression and public access to information through institutional capacity building and curriculum development for journalism training.
He said the UN, through the Democratic Governance for Development project, its international partners mainly the European Union, the UK Department for International Development and the Canadian International Development agency, was working to strengthen the voice and capacity of the Nigerian media.
According to Toure, this is with the objective of promoting media pluralism and democratisation of citizens’ access to information.
He said that DGD project was also supporting the effective implementation of the Freedom of Information Act with government institutions and civil society to promote inclusiveness in the democratic process and accountability of elected officials.
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Press Council, Mr. Bayo Atoyebi, called on Nigerian journalists to show more responsibility in their reportage, adding that no story was worth dying for.
He said the media should shun unbridled sensationalism, adding that they should practise with ethical standard.
Atoyebi called on journalists to hold government accountable to the people, adding that professionalism should not be jettisoned on the alter of money.

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