Dear colleagues and distinguished guests,
On behalf of the Human Rights Journalists Network Nigeria, it is my pleasure to extend warm greetings and goodwill on this International Press Freedom Day at the United Nations office in Abuja.
Today, we join journalists and media organizations around the world to celebrate the importance of a free and independent press in promoting democracy, human rights, and good governance. It is a day to reflect on the crucial role of journalists in providing citizens with accurate and unbiased information to make informed decisions about their lives and communities.
However, as we celebrate press freedom, we must also acknowledge the challenges faced by journalists in the pursuit of their duties. In Nigeria and many other countries, journalists and media workers face threats, harassment, and even physical attacks for reporting on sensitive issues or holding those in power accountable.
We call on the government and other stakeholders to protect journalists and ensure their safety while carrying out their work. We also urge media organizations to uphold high ethical standards and promote professionalism in their reporting.
At the same time, we must also recognize the vital role of citizen journalism in promoting press freedom. The rise of digital media and social networks has enabled citizens to report and share information in real-time, but it has also brought about new challenges such as fake news and hate speech.
Therefore, we call on all stakeholders to work together to promote media literacy and ensure that citizens have access to accurate and reliable information.
In conclusion, we reaffirm our commitment to keep collaborating to build capacity of journalists, document and advocate on human rights in Nigeria. We urge everyone to support and promote the work of journalists and media organizations in their efforts to hold those in power accountable and promote human rights and social justice.