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NUJ advocates better working condition for journalists

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The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Friday observed the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists alongside the rest of the world.

In a statement signed by the National Secretary of NUJ Shu’aibu Usman Leman, the Union voiced grave worry over the continued threats and physical assaults against journalists, which often go unpunished.

Speaking at the Union’s National Secretariat, the NUJ National President said this in Abuja while commemorating International Day UNESCO’s theme for this year’s event focuses on violence against journalists, the integrity of elections, and the role of public leadership.

The 2023 commemoration intends to raise awareness about the hurdles that journalists and communicators experience in the course of their work, as well as to highlight the growing violence and persecution against them.

Attacks and restrictions on the press during coverage of social protests, the use of legal mechanisms against journalists for their work on subjects of public concern, and the growing number of journalists driven into exile in some nations are among these challenges.

Comrade Chris Isiguzo criticized repressive activities against journalists who are denied the right to free expression due to various types of censorship. He demanded an end to such impunity and stated that the Union would continue its efforts in the coming months to confront threats to journalists, push for better working conditions, and boost the country’s journalistic voice.

Isiguzo also mentioned the terrible working conditions that journalists face nowadays, such as low salaries and exploitative situations.

He stressed the need for Nigerian journalists to receive better wages, more secure contracts, and decent working conditions.

He pointed out that election coverage is one of the most dangerous assignments for journalists in the country and urged the authorities to allow all journalists who wish to cover elections to do so without obstruction or censorship.

Likewise, he emphasized that press freedom is essential for a free and credible election.

The NUJ President reiterated the Union’s appeal to the Federal Government and all states of the Federation to take effective measures to protect journalists better and fully implement the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa.

This declaration underscores that “No one shall be subject to arbitrary interference with his or her freedom of expression.” Isiguzo also called for cooperation and support for the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression in the Continent to foster the safety of all media professionals.

Furthermore, Isiguzo urged all media organizations in the country to establish effective insurance schemes for journalists in their employment. He emphasized the need to end the harassment of journalists for exercising their right to free expression and demanded respect for their human rights, including the right to access information. Journalists should be able to perform their duties without fear of intimidation or arrest.

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