WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY : GOVERNMENT URGED TO REVIEW WELFARE PACKAGES OF MEDIA WORKERS
The Enugu State Commissioner for Information, Doctor Godwin Uduhele has urged media practitioners across the country to remain resolute and committed in their reportage. Doctor Uduhele stated this in Enugu on the occasion of this year’s World Press Freedom Day with the theme, Critical Minds for critical Times, Media’s Role in advancing Peaceful, just and Inclusive Societies”
The need for the press to exercise freedom in the course of it’s profession led to the proclamation of the World Press Freedom Day on 3rdMay 1993 by the United Nations General Assembly. This followed a recommendation adopted at the 26th session of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization General Conference in 1991.
World Press freedom Day aims at creating awareness on the importance of Press Freedom and to remind various governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression. Speaking on the significance of the celebration, the Commissioner for Information, Enugu State, Doctor Godwin Uduhele who called on the government to address the welfare packages and remuneration of media workers observed that some Journalists are not critical in their reportage due to daily challenges confronting them.
Doctor Uduhele reiterated the need for journalist to have free access to information to enable them to advance the course of the society. In an interview a former Deputy Director News, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Enugu National Station, Mr. Okechukwu Anakudo expressed optimism that the media would continue to facilitate a peaceful, just and inclusive society.
He said the media would actualize these if they dutifully acquaint themselves with the happenings in the society, analyze government policies and programmes. For a Constitutional Lawyer and Human Rights Activist in Enugu, Doctor Godstime Okafor, Journalists should not be denied rights to information or expression as enshrined in the Nigeria constitution.
Two Journalists who spoke with Radio Nigeria maintained that freedom of the press was necessary for practitioners to play their roles effectively.
Other respondents in their separate remarks described this year’s theme as apt.