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Free journalism, backbone of free society — NUJ

Free journalism, backbone of free society — NUJ

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NAN

Mr Victor Udu, the Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Cross River Council, has described the practice of free journalism as backbone of a free society.

Udu said this on Friday in Calabar while addressing journalists in the state on the occasion of the 2018 International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists.

It is a UN-recognised day observed annually on Nov. 2 to draw attention to the low global conviction rate for violent crimes against journalists and media workers.

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The NUJ council chairman said that in view of the hazard of journalism profession, it was the duty of governments the world over to promote safe, conducive and enabling environment for journalists to operate independently.

He added that available data showed that 1,010 journalists were killed around the world in the past 12 years, stressing that “it is worrisome to note that one journalist is killed every four days and in nine out of 10 cases, the killers go free.

“NUJ is concerned that impunity is damaging the whole society by covering up serious human rights abuses, corruption and crime.

“Countries like Nigeria who are among the coalition dedicated to upholding and strengthening democratic norms should show clear example in this regard, by ensuring and supporting free press.”

He maintained that “government has the primary duty to protect lives and property, where this is lacking, democracy suffers.”

He reminded the government of its responsibility in ensuring that crimes against journalists were not left unpunished.

He called for synergy between security agencies and journalists, ahead of the 2019 general polls.

He added that such collaboration would go a long way in ensuring balanced reportage during and after the polls.

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