Let journalism thrive, UNIC director urges stakeholders
DIRECTOR of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, Mr. Ronald Kayanja, has called on stakeholders to allow journalism to thrive, saying that it “could only thrive when stakeholders, including government, civil society and media practitioners redouble efforts to enhance safety of journalists”.
Kayanja, who spoke at the World Press Freedom Day observance organised by UNIC Lagos in collaboration with Media Awareness and Information For All Network (MAIN) and the Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos (UNILAG), noted that the observance was to encourage and develop initiatives in favour of press freedom, assess the state of press freedom worldwide and remind governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom.
Presenting the joint message of Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Ban Ki-moon; Director-General, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Irina Bokova and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, at the event, Kayanja noted that for peace to be lasting and development to be sustainable, human rights must be respected and everyone must be free to seek, receive and impart knowledge and information on all media platform.
Mr. Kayanja said that “quality journalism enables citizens to make informed decisions about their society’s development, adding that “it also works to expose injustice, corruption and the abuse of power.”
In his overview of the 2015 theme: “Let Journalism Thrive! Towards Better Reporting, Gender Equality, and Media Safety in the Digital Age”, Chairman of Media Awareness and Information For All Network (MAIN), Prof. Lai Oso, noted a growing influence of commercialisation and concentration of media enterprise ownership, which in a way impacts upon the independence and quality of journalism on all platforms.