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The spate of injuries suffered by practicing journalists during elections in Nigeria, especially in Rivers State, has caused angst to the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Rivers State.
The concerns were expressed at the Media Freedom Day marked at the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre (NUJ House) on Moscow Road in Port Harcourt on Friday, May 2, 2019, where the NUJ chairman, Stanley Job Stanley, listed journalists injured or detained during elections.
In Rivers State, journalists were attacked in 2015 in Okrika, while covering a rally by a political party where a policeman was killed. Another journalist working with the state government, Martins Giadom, lost his car, which was burnt by political thugs in a part of Ogoni, and no compensation came his way to this day.
In the recently concluded elections, some journalists were kidnapped in the Ahoada area but were later released after many kingpins and lords intervened. A female journalist was harassed and stopped from filming a scene in Eleme but a policeman nearby failed to act.
The NUJ chairman said these injuries and infractions posed a threat to journalism caused backwardness in the land. He appealed to the security agencies to do more to protect journalists. “All relevant stakeholders including governments, political parties, the electoral body, security agencies and Civil Society Organisations should create the enabling environment for the practice of journalism in Nigeria’, he stated.
He however commended the Journalism Educators Foundation of the University of Port Harcourt for devoting resources to the further education of journalists and for packaging the seminar.
The chairman of the occasion, Vincent Ake, touched on critical issues of ethics, investigative journalism, and ownership. He showed ways of getting to the root of stories and urged journalists to remain with the … Read More...