Participants at a seminar organised to mark this year’s edition of the World Press Freedom Day have advocated increased collaboration between journalists and security agencies.
They also called for the institution of mechanisms to ensure the seamless flow of information between security agencies and the media.
They said the safety of journalists had become an issue of concern with the rise on attacks on journalists, media houses and freedom of expression.
The seminar, organised by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Lagos in partnership with Media Rights Agenda (MRA), was held in the context of the global celebrations with the theme: “Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in All Media.”
Among speakers at the seminar, which was attended by 50 participants from the print, broadcast and online media; human rights and civil society organisations, the Nigeria Police, and members of the public, were the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP); President, Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Mr. Femi Adesina, and Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN), Mr. Gbenga Sesan.
In a communiqué issued yesterday, the participants urged journalists to familiarise themselves with the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity to be able to create awareness about it and pursue its effective implementation in Nigeria.
They also urged security agencies and the media to improve their relationship by ending the regime of mutual distrust between them.
The participants called on security agencies to appoint competent officials to positions that require interaction with the media as a way of improving relations between the media and security agencies.
They noted that the police and other security agencies should know that they have a duty to protect the rights of journalists as well as ensuring their safety and security, adding that journalists, on their part, should assist in enhancing policing functions.