66 Nigerian journalists, three media outlets attacked in 2022: Report

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In 2022, 66 Nigerian journalists and three media outlets were victims of attacks of various kinds.

This information was provided by Mrs. Melody Akinjiyan, the International Press Centre’s programme officer, on Friday at the World Press Freedom Day Media Roundtable and Stakeholders’ Forum on Journalists’ Safety and Protecting Freedom of Expression in the Age of Misinformation and Disinformation in Ibadan, Oyo State, when she presented a report on attacks on journalists in 2022.

 

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the Open Society Foundation served as the event’s sponsor, and the IPC organised it in collaboration with the Oyo State Council and the Nigeria Union of Journalists.

The Centre for the Safety and Protection of Journalists was officially opened, according to NAN, which also quotes IPC Director Mr. Lanre Arogundade.

66 reported attacks on journalists were reported in 2022, an alarming increase from the over 40 cases reported in 2021, according to Akinjiyan.

Physical assault (24), kidnapping (7), gun attack (1), threats to life (2), threats to reveal source/intimidation (2), invasion (1), media shutdown (1), and robbery (1) were the different types of attacks she listed.

The refusal of information access (1), harassment (2), illegal arrest and detention (21), account hacking (1), and the threat of punishment or payment of a fine (2) were among the others.

“There are 66 journalists, 56 of them men and 10 women. 13 print journalists, 26 broadcasters, 24 online media professionals, and three other people are among them.

Twenty-six of the journalists are from the South West, sixteen are from the North Central region, ten are from the South-South, six are from the North East, four are from the North West, and ten are from the South-East.

“The states where the incident happened are Zamfara, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kwara, Gombe, Taraba, Adamawa, Bauchi, Lagos, Ondo, Osun, Ogun, Oyo, Enugu, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Cross River, and FCT Abuja,” she said.

The programme officer claimed that the reported perpetrators of the various attacks included security services, political thugs, armed robbers, and militant organisations like the Islamic State of West Africa Province.

However, Akinjiyan urged journalists to show a stronger sense of unity in the face of attacks on the media and violations of the rights of their professional colleagues.

She urged journalists to inform the IPC about attacks by explaining that the figures compiled represented the only cases that had been reported among the numerous unreported incidents.

Additionally, Akinjiyan urged journalists to always put attacks on journalists, their safety, freedom, and welfare as top priorities.

In introducing the I-CSPJ, Arogundade stated that the organization’s mission was to advocate for and advance journalist safety in order to advance human rights in the future.

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He added that another goal of the organisation was to raise awareness of the need to safeguard journalists, particularly when they act as first responders in crisis or emergency situations.

“The strategic goal of extending the bounds of press freedom in Nigeria and Africa, of which journalists’ safety is an integral part, serves as the overarching framework for the establishment of I-CSPJ.

“The purpose of I-CSPJ is to advocate for and promote the safety of journalists in order to contribute to that future of rights.

As frontline workers in times of crisis or emergency, he added, “and raising awareness about the necessity of protecting journalists.”

The IPC chairman announced that the 2023 WPFD’s theme was “Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of Expression as a Driver for All Other Human Rights”

According to Arogundade, the theme suggested that other human rights were heralded by the right to freedom of expression, which included press freedom.

According to NAN, the roundtable discussion also resulted in a number of recommendations, one of which was to sponsor legislation that would regulate the profession of journalism.

Insurance plans, better pay, and welfare benefits for journalists were a few of the other topics discussed.

Professor Tokunbo Adaja, Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Joseph Ayo Babalola University, and Chief Ademola Babalola, Chairman of the Oyo State NUJ, both gave presentations at the event, according to NAN.

Others included Bolaji Adeniyi, Vice-President (West) of the Nigeria Guild of Editors, and Bolanle Ismail, a lecturer at Crescent University in Abeokuta’s Department of Mass Communication.

NAN

 

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