As the world celebrates Press Freedom Day, the Osun State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), has urged journalists to be responsible in carrying out their editorial duties.
This was contained in a statement sent to POLITICS NIGERIA by the council chairman, Kehinde Ayantunji on Sunday.
He said, “any society that lost vibrant media has lost an integral part of democracy at the peril of sustainable development and growth.”
Mr Ayantunji expressed concerns about prevailing harassment, intimidation, and incarceration of journalists in Nigeria despite 21 years of uninterrupted democracy in Nigeria.
The union called on all democratic institutions, particularly the judiciary to rise in support of free press for a prosperous and sustainable democracy.
The union, while reflecting on the theme of this year world press freedom day “Journalism without fear or favour ” urged members to always practice ethical journalism by upholding the integrity and public interest above any other consideration.
“We salute the courage, doggedness, and perseverance displayed by journalists in Nigeria in the face of social, political, and economic challenges.
“As the conscience of society, we have no choice than to double our efforts with responsible journalism as a way of making life more abundant for the people.
“The economic and working condition of journalists in Nigeria is no doubt worrisome and utterly discouraging, however, our resolute to promote good governance and development should be practically unshakeable, knowing fully well that journalism is a public trust”, NUJ said.
NUJ also demanded better pay for media practitioners to enhance their capacity and ensure a decent living standard and called on its members to take all precautionary measures in the coverage of Covid-19 pandemic, as it demanded life insurance for journalists in line with what is applicable to health workers involved in the fight against dreaded Coronavirus.