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Every Society Needs Good Journalism As Partners In Development: Note That Nonpayment Of Salaries To Media Professionals Is Also A Crime

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As Nigerian joined the rest of the world to mark International Day to end impunity for crimes against journalists.  The second of November was set aside to draw attention to low global conviction rate for violent crimes against journalists and media workers and in commemoration of the assassination of two French journalists in Mali on the 2nd November 2013. The statistics of journalist killed in their line of duty has been soaring on daily basis,

On Sunday a Congolese journalist who had been raising awareness about the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo was killed in his home.

The army said unidentified attackers raided Papy Mumbere Mahamba’s home in Lwebma, in the north-eastern province of Ituri, killing him, wounding his wife and burning their house down.

While on Monday the report of two other journalist found with multiple stab wounds were discovered near a plantation farm in Samourtra in Indonesia.

A look at some safety concerns raised by journalists in Rivers State.

In the past 13 years, a staggering 1327 journalists were attacked around the world in the course of doing their job. Surprisingly, 349 of these attacks happened in Nigeria between 1986 and 2019.

According to the Press Attack Tracker, a body that takes record of harassment of journalists, 39 Nigerian journalists were attacked between January and October this year with 30 of the incidents recorded during 2019 General Elections.

Bringing the statistics home to Rivers state, journalists here say much of the attacks occur in the form of threats from political thugs and the security agencies who see them as enemies for providing information to the public

Overall, the journalist’s task has become more dangerous particularly in conflict stressed zones. The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that seventy journalists were killed in 2012 alone.

For the Nigeria Union Journalists, this figure is extremely high because of the disregard for the protection of human rights.  According to the chairman of the NUJ in Rivers state, Stanley Job, there is a need for global efforts to end impunity. He said NUJ will no longer tolerate the aggression meted out to journalist for doing their job.

One troubling development across the world is that in 9 out of 10 reported cases of attacks against journalists, the perpetrators often go unpunished. So, what is the Rivers state police command doing to check this ugly phenomenon in the state? DSP Nnamdi Omoni is the police spokesman for the Rivers state police command he said the command is working seriously to see that crimes against journalist in the state are brought to the barest minimum

As the world marks the International Day to end impunity for crimes against journalists, there is also a bigger crime against journalists, particularly here in Nigeria. It’s important to note is that nonpayment of salaries to media professionals is also a crime. Every society needs good journalism as journalists are partners in development

 

 

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