Journalists across the country have been advised to be safety conscious, while carrying out their duties and off duty.
This charge was handed to journalists by a seasoned journalist, Anikeade Funke-Treasure, during a one-day workshop organised by the International Press Centre (IPC) and Open Society in Akure, Ondo state capital.
While speaking on the “Approaches To Impactful Reporting And Safety In Reporting Grassroots Development” Funke-Treasure noted that journalists, especially in print media, are more vulnerable to attack, saying many of them had been killed, and murdered with no traces.
She said the One-Day Capacity Building for Local Journalists on Impactful Reporting of Grassroots Development Issues and Safety Consciousness was put in place to orientate journalists on how to be security conscious while carrying out their duties.
According to her, journalists can face violence and intimidation for exercising their fundamental right to freedom of expression, saying the range of threats include, with includes murder, kidnapping, hostage-taking, harassment, intimidation, arbitrary detention and torture.
She however, charged journalists as a matter of compulsion, to install security Apps on their handsets and other devices to protect them from some elements
political criminals and overzealous security agents who are not comfortable with their reports.
She emphasised the need for journalists to adhere to the ethics of the profession in order to make society rely on them as their conscience who can help to table their grievances and make their demands known to the people at the helm of affairs of the nation.
The seasoned journalist called on editors and general managers of media houses to always make the safety of their reporters a priority while sending them out, especially on special reports by creating emergency contact through which the reporters could raise red flag.
Funke-Treasure advised journalists to get themselves acquainted with international and national laws as well as human rights, charging the NUJ to protect its members through Life Assurance policy.
Also speaking, on the “Role Of Media In Making Government Accountable To The Grassroots,” the state NUJ Chairman, Prince Adeleke Adegbite, while delivering his lecture, advised newsmen in the country to dwell more on reporting happenings in the rural areas for the dwellers to enjoy government’s presence.
He noted that the people at the grassroots are often neglected while government are not always aware of all their needs and challenges confronting them but said journalists need to do more in this area.
Adegbite, therefore, charged journalists to continue to serve as the bridge between the governed and governing body through grassroots reporting that can make positive changes in their lives.
At the end of the training, Anikeade Funke-Treadure Akintoye launched a book entitled: “Grassroots Development Issues. A Resource Manual on Impactful Reporting And Safety Consciousness.”
The 42-page book a was packaged by Anikeade Funke-Treadure Akintoye and Tunde Aremu, while the preface was written by Lanre Arogundade, Executive Director, IPC.
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