As media organisations and associations worldwide commemorate the World Press Freedom Day, Monday, , May 3, 2021, Journalists for Christ (JFC) International Outreach, the association for Christian Journalists and allied professional in Nigeria, has called on the Nigerian government to ensure the necessary freedom for the Nigerian press in order to carry out its professional role of informing the public
The organisation also urged media professionals in the country to ensure access to verified and reliable information for the people.
According to JFC President, Lekan Otufodunrin, the theme for this year’s celebration ” Information as a Public Good” is very apt considering the urgent need, more than ever before, to ensure that people have access to the right information at all times.
“New media technologies have enhanced freedom of expression, dissemination and access to information, but the level of misinformation and dissemination have become worrisome.”
“Fake news have become the order of the day with many false information and harmful content being disseminated regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and other major crises,” he said.
He explained that in line with the statement by UNESCO Director General, Audrey Azulay, this year’s celebration should call attention to the essential role of free and professional journalists in producing and disseminating this information, by tackling misinformation and other harmful content.
Otufodunrin therefore called on the Nigerian government to ensure the press is not gagged saying, “In this regard, the media in Nigeria and worldwide needs the necessary freedom and support to be able to play it’s expected role in properly informing and educating the public.
“Hence, the information people get should be empowering and lifesaving for public good not harmful to individual and corporate existence.”