As Stakeholders mark the 2022 World Press Freedom Day, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ondo State Council, has demanded adequate funding of media organisations by proprietors to enable them meeting economic needs of their workforce amidst rise in the cost of living.
The Union specifically explains that considering the number of hours that media workers put into their duties daily, it is long over due to review their take home upwardly while welfare of journalists working with private outfits should be given priority by their employers in view of the harsh economic situation in the country.
In commemorating this year’s World Press Freedom Day in Akure, the State Chairman of the Union, Comrade Leke Adegbite and the Acting Secretary, Mrs Ngozi Aduloju, pointed out that the Press Freedom Day is set aside to remind government and its agencies especially security operatives on the need to respect the commitments of media professionals about the issues of freedom and ethics.
The Day is organised by United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO to celebrate media professionals who risk their lives in the line of duties as well as to reflect on the hazards of the job, restrategize and project the way forward to make journalism more attractive and safer for practitioners.
Ondo NUJ therefore notes that with reasonable and regular payment of media workers’ salaries, upholding the tenets and ethics of journalism profession will not be a herculean task, particularly application of the Freedom of Information Acts (FOI Act) that will make to be more accountable to the citizenry.
Ahead of the political parties primaries and the 2023 general election, the Union equally tasks Security Agencies, political class and other stakeholders in Ondo State to always respect importance of journalists and free press to the advancement of democratic processes, hence the need to always protect the professionals.
The Statement indicates that in few days time, Ondo NUJ will reconstitute its Special Taskforce Against Fake Journalists/Quackery, to work with security agents and other stakeholders to flush out non-professionals in the state who usually exploit personalities at public events and serve as purveyors of fake news in most cases.
Ondo NUJ under the new leadership will strive harder to adequately protect and enhance welfare packages of its members in the state through Regular Medical Check up, Capacity Building, Safety and work with the National Secretariat of our Union in terms of insurance scheme for members in the Sunshine State.
3rd May, 2022.