Press Freedom Day 2023: ImpactHouse Celebrates Journalists, Makes Call 

Abuja – 03 May, 2023: ImpactHouse Centre for Development Communication (ImpactHouse CfDC), publishers of Development Diaries, has commended journalists in Nigeria for upholding citizens’ democratic rights despite threats to press freedom in the country.

Nigeria remains one of West Africa’s most dangerous and difficult countries for journalists, according to Reporters without Borders (RSF). Journalists in the country are often watched, attacked, arbitrarily arrested and even killed.

Data  from the Press Attack Tracker of the Center for Journalism, Innovation and Development (CJID) shows that 179 attacks against journalists in Nigeria were recorded between 2019 and 2022.  This included  54 arrests, 17 threats, 69 physical attacks, six equipment damages,  16 cases of harassment and one missing journalist.

“The federal and state governments in Nigeria must be reminded that a free and independent media that can keep citizens informed and hold leaders accountable is essential for a strong and sustainable democracy”, Managing Editor of Development Diaries, John Andah, said in a statement marking the World Press Freedom Day.

The day, May 3, is set aside to honour journalists who have died in the line of duty and remember the essential values of press freedom.

This year’s theme, “Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights”, calls for the acknowledgement of the crucial part that freedom of expression plays in the advancement of all other human rights. It emphasises how important it is for governments to respect and support freedom of expression as a fundamental human right.

The importance of independent media is more crucial than ever in the modern world where misinformation and disinformation are pervasive. Informing the public, exposing corruption, and keeping those in positions of authority accountable all depend heavily on journalists. Even in the face of censorship and repression, they persistently endeavour to guarantee that citizens have access to accurate and credible information.

“Without the press, citizens cannot make informed decisions about how they are governed; and participate in governance by addressing human rights abuses, corruption and abuse of power”, Andah added.

ImpactHouse calls on the Nigerian government and African leaders to respect and defend freedom of expression and the press.  We also call on media organisations to provide journalists with the resources and support they need to do their job safely and effectively. To ensure that journalists can work without fear of intimidation or persecution, we must all collaborate to advance and defend press freedom.

Photo source: The Guardian


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