The United Nations and the British Government has expressed displeasure over the incessant attacks on media houses and journalists in Nigeria. The agencies described it as ‘disturbing’.
They pleaded with the authorities to put an end to all press harassment and victimization given that media houses are responsible for holding governments accountable to the people.
Catriona Laing, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, disclosed this on Monday at the 2020 International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.
The High Commissioner stated that ‘a free press is essential for an informed citizenry. Journalists play a crucial role in holding our governments to account and prevent impunity. Journalists should never be intimidated or attacked for pursuing the truth.’
Ronald Kayanja, the Director, United Nations Information Centre in Nigeria, stated at the event on Monday that journalists and media houses must be protected by all means.
The director condemned the attacks and called on authorities to investigate such cases in order to bring about justice. He further stated that a way of curbing fake news is to empower the independence of the media.
In his words, he opines, ‘One way to fight fake news and hate speech which is pervasive through digital media is to strengthen the independent media. Just like support is being provided for other sectors of the economy, to build back a better media the industry should also be supported.’
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