ABUJA – The Nigeria Press Council (NPC) on Saturday in Abuja urged journalists to adhere to the ethics of their profession in the discharge of their constitutional responsibilities.
The advice is contained in a statement signed by the council’s Acting Executive Secretary, Mr Nnamdi Njemanze, as part of the commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day in Nigeria.
“Today (May 3) marks another World Press Freedom Day, as an essential ingredient to the existence of democracy and fundamental human goal.
“ The day has been set aside as a day to honour the freedom of the press all over the world.
“ This is to also remind the governments across the globe of their role to honour the media professionals in their quest to uphold the tenets of journalism,” it stated.
However, the NPC enjoined the press to use the occasion to assess the state of press freedom in the country and identify solutions to the various challenges facing the profession.
The council also called on media professionals to utilise the Freedom of Information Act to strengthen investigative journalism in the country.
The statement said the council would continue in its efforts at engendering high professional standards through capacity building.
It, however, called on all stakeholders and governments to join forces for the promotion of freedom of the press and transparency as a strong impetus for monitoring governance.
“ The media, print, electronic, online and social media should propagate May 3 every year, which was adopted at Windhoek Declaration in 1991 to mark the World Press Freedom Day.
“UN’s reason for declaring the date is to raise awareness on the essence of the freedom of the press.
“This is to remind governments of various countries of their duty to respect the freedom of expression as enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The statement said further that the day was also set aside to create awareness about the importance of the freedom of the press and freedom of expression.
It said this was as provided in Article 19.
The statement further quoted Njemanze as saying that the Article stated it categorically that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
“These rights include freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and import, information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers,’’ he was quoted as saying.
According to UNESCO, the World Press Freedom Day is a day set aside to suggest and promote initiatives which will expand the freedom of the press.
As part of this, UNESCO awards the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom prize.
This is to honour the work of any individual or institution promoting the freedom of expression anywhere in the world.(NAN)