CJID LAUNCHES  SERIES OF ACTIVITIES IN HONOUR OF PRESS FREEDOM MONTH

The Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) has launched a series of advocacy-based activities to commemorate Press Freedom Month. 

The CJID is deeply concerned about the state of press freedom in Nigeria, as attacks on journalists continue to rise. According to the Press Attack Tracker, 45 journalists were attacked in Nigeria during the first quarter of 2023, with physical assault being the most common form of attack. More worrying is the impunity that characterises the violation of journalists’ safety as the cases of violation are hardly investigated or perpetrators held accountable.

Press freedom is a fundamental right for promoting democracy and protecting human rights. Against this backdrop, the CJID has planned a three-part series of activities throughout the month of May, in keeping with this year’s UNESCO theme, “Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of Expression as a Driver for All Other Human Rights.” 

The CJID’s theme for this year’s event is “Journalists’ Safety as a Guarantee for Press Freedom and Human Rights Protection in West Africa.”

On 3 May, the CJID launched a one-month social advocacy in line with the theme “Journalists’ Safety as a Guarantee for Human Rights Protection and Press Freedom in West Africa.” Interested individuals can catch up with the advocacy by checking the data and tweet threads here.  

CJID urges the public to stand with journalists and the media at large to demand press freedom by filling out this form and adding their voices to the advocacy. 

On 9 May, in collaboration with Premium Times, The CJID will host a Twitter space conversation on “Freedom of Expression, Political Participation, and Development in West Africa.” 

The conversation aims to raise awareness about the importance of free speech and media freedom in West Africa and to identify concrete steps that can be taken to protect and promote these essential rights. The campaign aims to raise awareness about journalist brutality and call for action on reviewing existing laws that suppress press freedom and freedom of expression.

The CJID will also, in collaboration with Premium Times- host a Journalists Security Summit, bringing together journalists from various media organisations to share their experiences and offer recommendations that can help protect their rights to carry out their duties.

On the 11th of May, CJID in partnership with Tech Radio will further host a webinar on ‘’Who stole the News?: Is the Press under a Digital Siege?’’. The aim of this webinar is to dissect the role and impact of digital technology on media freedom. 

Overall, the CJID hopes that these activities will increase awareness of the importance of press freedom and its role in promoting democracy, improving protection for journalists, promoting free speech, advocating for the review of regulatory frameworks, and offering recommendations on how to protect press freedom under the new administration.

Signed

Busola Ajibola

Deputy Director, Journalism Program

Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development