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2024 World Press Day: Ministers, Governors Raise Awareness On Media Freedom

The United Nations General Assembly declared May 3 of every year as World Press Freedom Day, to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press, and to remind governments of their duty to respect, and uphold the right to freedom of expression enshrined under Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


 

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Malagi, alongside his counterpart in the Ministry of Environment, Balarabe Lawal, has joined forces with state governors, to highlight the importance of press freedom in Nigeria.

While addressing the media in commemoration of the 2024 World Press Freedom Day, at the radio house in Abuja on Friday, Malagi described media freedom as crucial to the development of the nation.

This year’s World Press Freedom Day is themed, “A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the Face of the Environmental Crisis”.

The United Nations General Assembly declared May 3 of every year as World Press Freedom Day, to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press, and to remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression enshrined under Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Ododo Commends Media Sacrifices

The Kogi State Governor, Usman Ododo praised the sacrifices and contributions of media practitioners in deepening the democratic space.

In a statement by the Special Adviser on Media to the Governor, Ismaila Isah, Governor Ododo eulogised the press for its role in holding the government to account for the delivery of dividends of democracy to the people.

He noted that the 2024 commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day, was a reminder of the importance of a free and independent press in our democracy.

“As Governor, I am proud to recognize the crucial role that journalists and the vibrant press play in holding those in power accountable and shedding light on the programmes and policies of the government in the way that the people need to be told,” Governor Ododo said.

The governor acknowledged that a free press is the cornerstone of a healthy democracy, and citizens must protect and promote press freedom with whatever it takes.

According to him, journalists risk their lives to disseminate information to society, and it is the government’s responsibility, to ensure that they can do so without fear of humiliation, intimidation or harm in the process.

“On this World Press Freedom Day, I honour the bravery of the men and women who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of truth and transparency and promoting understanding in the democratic space.

“I also recognise the challenges they are confronted with in today’s world, from censorship and disinformation to violence and intimidation.

“As Governor, I reaffirm my commitment to protecting press freedom and promoting a culture of transparency and accountability in our state. Let us stand together in defence of freedom of the press and the courageous journalists who bring us the truth undiluted”, Governor Ododo emphasised,” he said.

The Governor urged the people of the state, to celebrate the critical work that journalists are doing in defending the truth and confronting negative narratives, which he noted is essential for the nation’s democracy to thrive.

The Governor also enjoined the people of Kogi state, to continue to stand united for the truth despite the antics of purveyors of misinformation against the developmental strides of his administration.

Uphold Your Roles As Watchdog – Inuwa

Gombe State Governor and Chairman of Northern States Governors’ Forum, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, has urged journalists, to continue to uphold their role as watchdogs of the society, and guardians of public interests, while embracing the responsibilities that come with the profession.

He commended media practitioners in Gombe State and nationwide, for their dedication to promoting democratic ideals, emphasising the crucial role of the press in enlightening the public about government policies and global developments.

While recognising the impact of the digital era on press freedom and journalists safety, the governor emphasised the need for responsible journalism in the face of evolving challenges.

The World Press Freedom Day, he said, serves as a call to affirm the importance of cherishing information as a public good, and exploring what can be done in the production, distribution, and reception of content to strengthen journalism, and advance transparency and empowerment, while leaving no one behind.

He noted the impact of the digital era on the freedom of the press, the security of journalists, and access to information, advising them to always guard against fake news and misinformation, as well as ensure accurate and balanced reportage of events and activities.

The NSGF Chairman assured to continue to work with the media as partners and critical allies in his determination to entrench transparency, accountability, and openness in governance in Gombe state.