The Nigeria Union of Journalists, (NUJ), Anambra State Chapter, has urged the state government to partner Journalists in the state for better coordination and management of information, reports Alexander Johnson Adejoh.
This was made known in a statement signed by Emmanuel Ifesinachi (KSJI, JP) and Emma Udeagha, the Union’s Chairman and Secretary in the state respectively.
The umbrella body of Journalists joined over a million members of the fourth estate of the realm globally to celebrate the World Press Freedom Day last Sunday, May 3.
According to the release, this year’s World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) was tagged “Journalism without Fear or Favour”.
The theme, according to the statement, was significant because it was coming at a time of renewed global attacks on the media and great risks posed to society and journalists by the coronavirus pandemic.
‘Undoubtedly, the media has justified its role by providing the public with information they need to take responsibility for their lives particularly during this pandemic,’ the statement read in part.
‘The media’s critical role again reinforces the need for freedom of expression and respect of fundamental rights of journalists to do their work independently and in safety, as a precondition for attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
‘This Council commends the Anambra State Government for the ongoing efforts to check the coronavirus pandemic in the state but observes that some critical stakeholders, such as the National Orientation Agency, NOA; and the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ; statutorily charged with public education, were excluded from the State COVID-19 Task Force,’ the statement said.
Referring the style of the Government of Anambra State in disseminating press releases, the union noted with regret that press releases had now become a trademark in the state.
‘The problem is that officials of this Government have often been unwilling to talk with journalists, even when their ideas deserve clarification.
‘We again use this opportunity to urge them to resist the ‘I know What is Good for the State Syndrome’ and do the needful in the interest of the public and that of the Governor who takes responsibility for their leaking head and bottom,’ the statement read.
Again the union beckons on leaders not to make decisions that created confusion, noting that media management was not an obsession with needless propaganda and desire to fight avoidable wars to the neglect of the compulsions and implications of the office.
Expressing delight in what they described as the satisfactory performance of media practitioners, the union commended journalists in the state for their contributions to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and urge the state government and philanthropic groups and individuals to provide them with protective kits and working tools to enhance their performance and promote effective reportage.
Furthermore, the union reassured that they would continue to defend journalists who were unjustly molested in the performance of their duties.