66 Nigerian journalists, three media houses attacked in 2022 — Report

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In 2022, 66 Nigerian journalists and three media outlets experienced various types of attacks.

At the World Press Freedom Day Media Roundtable and Stakeholders’ Forum on Journalists’ Safety and Protecting Freedom of Expression in the Age of Misinformation and Disinformation in Ibadan, Oyo State on Friday, the International Press Center’s programme officer, Mrs. Melody Akinjiyan, announced as much while presenting a report on attacks on journalists in 2022.

 

The IPC, in collaboration with the Nigeria Union of Journalists, the Oyo State Council, and with sponsorship from the Open Society Foundation, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, organised the event.

The IPC Director, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, reportedly launched the centre for the safety and protection of journalists, according to NAN.

The 66 reported attacks on journalists that were reported in 2022, according to Akinjiyan, represent a concerning increase from the more than 40 cases that were reported in 2021.

She listed the different kinds of attacks as follows: physical assaults (24); kidnappings (7); gun attacks (1); threats to life (2); threats to reveal sources/intimidation (2); invasions (1); media shutdown (1); and robberies (1).

Other examples included denying access to information (1), harassment (2), illegal arrest and detention (21), account hacking (1), and threatening sanctions or paying a fine (2).

56 men and 10 women make up the 66 journalists. There are also 13 print journalists, 26 broadcast media professionals, 24 online media professionals, and three more.

“Of the journalists, twenty-six come from the South-West, sixteen from the North-Central, ten from the South-South, six from the North-East, four from the North-West, and ten from the South-East.

Zamfara, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kwara, Gombe, Taraba, Adamawa, Bauchi, Lagos, Ondo, Osun, Ogun, Oyo, Enugu, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Cross River, and FCT Abuja are the states where the incident occurred, according to her.

The programme officer claimed that, according to reports, security services, political thugs, armed robbers, and militant organisations like the Islamic State’s of West Africa Province were behind the various attacks.

However, in response to attacks on the media and violations of the rights of their professional colleagues, Akinjiyan urged journalists to show a stronger sense of solidarity.

She urged journalists to share information on attacks with the IPC, pointing out that the figures compiled were the only ones reported of the numerous unreported cases.

Akinjiyan urged journalists to always put attacks on journalists, their safety, freedom, and welfare at the forefront of their stories.

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The I-CSPJ’s mission, according to Arogundade, who introduced the organisation, is to advocate for and advance journalist safety in order to advance human rights in the future.

According to him, the organisation was also established to raise awareness about the necessity of protecting journalists, particularly given that they frequently serve as first responders in crisis or emergency situations.

“The strategic goal of expanding press freedom in Nigeria and Africa, of which journalists’ safety is a crucial component, served as the overarching framework for the founding of I-CSPJ.

Therefore, I-CSPJ’s objective is to support and advance journalist safety in order to contribute to that future of rights.

And raising awareness about how important it is to protect journalists, particularly because they are often the first responders in times of crisis or emergency, he added.

The theme of the 2023 World Peace Forum and Day was “Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights,” according to the IPC chairman.

According to Arogundade, the theme suggested that other human rights would follow the right to free speech, which includes the freedom of the press.

The roundtable discussion, according to NAN, also resulted in a number of recommendations, one of which was to sponsor legislation governing journalism.

Other topics included an insurance programme, better pay, and assistance programmes for journalists, among others.

According to NAN, the event included presentations from Chief Ademola Babalola, the Chairman of the Oyo State NUJ, Professor Tokunbo Adaja, Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Joseph Ayo Babalola University, and others.

Others included Bolanle Ismail, a lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication at Crescent University, Abeokuta, and Mr. Bolaji Adeniyi, Vice-President (West), Nigeria Guild of Editors.

NAN

 

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