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Champion Environmental Reporting, Highlight Innovative Solutions, Actions- NUJ President Urge Journalist On World Press Freedom Day

World Press Freedom Day, marked every 3rd May is dedicated to celebrating the fundamental principles of press freedom, defending the rights of journalists, and promoting the importance of a free and independent media in democratic societies.

This year’s theme, “A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the Face of the Environmental Crisis,” underscores the crucial role of journalists in addressing environmental challenges and promoting sustainability.

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) joins the global community in commemorating this Special Day and reaffirms its commitment to defending press freedom, promoting ethical journalism, and advocating for the rights and safety of journalists across the country.

In Nigeria, journalists play a vital role as watchdogs of society, holding power to account, exposing corruption, and amplifying the voices of the marginalized and vulnerable. Despite facing numerous challenges, including threats, intimidation, and attacks, journalists continue to demonstrate courage, resilience, and professionalism in the pursuit of truth and justice.

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The environmental crisis is one of the most pressing challenges of our time, with far-reaching implications for our planet and future generations. From climate change and deforestation to pollution and biodiversity loss, the threats facing our environment are complex and urgent. Journalism, therefore has a critical role to play in raising awareness, fostering public debate, and catalyzing action to address these issues.

As we commemorate World Press Freedom Day, the NUJ calls on journalists, media organizations, and critical stakeholders to:

1. Uphold Press Freedom: Defend the rights of journalists to work without fear of censorship, harassment, or violence. Press freedom is essential for democracy, accountability, and the protection of human rights.

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2. Champion Environmental Reporting: Prioritize coverage of environmental issues and their impact on communities, ecosystems, and the planet. Hold governments, corporations, and individuals accountable for their actions and policies that contribute to environmental degradation.

3. Promote Solutions and Action: Highlight innovative solutions, best practices, and grassroots initiatives aimed at addressing the environmental crisis and promoting sustainability. Inspire public engagement and empower communities to take meaningful action to protect the planet.

4. Foster Collaboration and Solidarity: Build partnerships and networks to support environmental journalism, share resources and expertise, and amplify the impact of reporting on environmental issues. Collaboration among journalists, civil society organizations, academia, and government agencies is essential for addressing complex environmental challenges.

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5. Support Journalists’ Safety and Well-being: Ensure the safety, security, and well-being of journalists, especially those reporting on sensitive or dangerous topics such as environmental issues. Provide training, resources, and legal support to journalists facing threats or attacks.

On this World Press Freedom Day, let us recommit ourselves to defending press freedom, promoting ethical journalism, and harnessing the power of the media to protect our planet and create a sustainable future for all.

Dr Chris Isiguzo MFR
National President
Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ)
May 3, 2024

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