BY SHOLA OGUNTOYE
Press freedom day is a global event commemorated annually to advocate media independence.
In this report, staff reporter, Shola Oguntoye examines the significance of the day to media professionals and the challenges facing press freedom.
The United Nations General Assembly declared every May 3rd as World Press Freedom day to raise awareness on the importance of press freedom and also reminded government at all levels of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression as enshrined under Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Speaking on the essence of the day, chairman, Nigeria union of Journalists, NUJ, ondo state council, Mr Adetona Aderoboye noted that press freedom was not only for the development of the media industry but for overall good of the country.
”Across the globe, Press institution is meant for the healthy development of every nation”.
”The institution serves as a watchdog on government policies thus making it possible for every government to be responsible to the people and be conscious of its obligations to the governed”.
Mr Aderoboye who submitted that the press should not be gagged by government described as false the belief across the land that the institution was an intruder.
Expatiating on the challenges facing the Nigeria Press, Ondo State NUJ Genrral Secretary, Mr Leke Adegbite lamented the poor condition of service of the journalist particularly in the private sector.
”Journalists are not being accorded the right treatment by their employers particularly our colleagues in the private sectors”.
”Majority of them are being owed several months of salaries by their employers which indeed could hamper Press freedom thus making press to be liable in the discharge of its responsibilities to the society”.
Other journalists who spoke with Positive Fm charged government and private organizations to prioritise the welfare of men of the pen profession across the nation.