On Press Freedom
By Etete Enideneze
Today is World Press Freedom Day, for appraising extent of freedom to gather facts, write, speak, opinionate and publish/broadcast to inform, educate, entertain audiences. These verge on fundamental human rights of the citizenry.
Press freedom as contained in the Constitution of some countries, including ours, though like the carrot and stick maxim, as there constraints, has become synonymous with the press (news media institutions and media practitioners, especially, journalists). Thus, the concept and remarking of the Day, dominantly resonates with the press.
But, the public or entire citizenry: audiences – masses: readers, listeners viewers, sources, opinion makers, contributors, other professionals such as lecturers, lawyers are all covered by the notion or provision of press freedom. But often times, the Day is left for journalists alone, to remark and appraise the extent and abuse of that freedom.
However, kudos to the NUJ, NPC, IPI, Freedom House, Reporters Without Borders, WAUJ, IFJ etc, sustaining the Day , to appraise and speak out against abuses and for always calling for release of detained journalists.
Lack of freedom within media institutions, especially deprivation of editorial autonomy, the unethically commercialization of news against NUJ and NBC Codes, as in other climes too, and poor or zero remuneration, also ought to be at the front burner of press freedom discourses.