The International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos, today kicked off the celebration of this year’s World Press Freedom Day (WPFD), with with a webinar, tagged ‘Safety, Security and Management of Trauma in Coverage of Dangerous Assignments.’
The Organisation announced that the celebration comes in a two-part event, the webinar held today while on Wednesday May 5, 2021, IPC, in partnership with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), the Nigerian Guild of Editors, the Radio Television Theatre and Arts Workers Union and other stakeholders, will convey a forum on ‘Information as Public Good and the Quest for Press Freedom in Nigeria’ in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory.
IPC’s Executive Director, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, said both events are pursuant to the theme of the year 2021 WPFD – ‘Information as Public Good.’
“Year 2021 marks the 30th anniversary of the Windhoek, Namibia, Declaration on an Independent and Pluralistic African Media which led to the decision of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as adopted by the UN General Assembly to declare May 3rd as WPFD.
“It is this significance that has informed our decision to organise series of events to commemorate the milestone including two webinars and the stakeholders’ forum,” Arogundade explained.
According to him, 50 journalists from the three Northern geo-political zones who applied and were selected will participate in tomorrow’s capacity building webinar at which international and Nigerian experts will make presentations on ‘Safety reporting and the challenges online and offline;’ Safety best practices in the investigation, coverage and reportage of dangerous assignments including pandemics’ and ‘Managing stress, trauma and other psychological/mental health challenges in the coverage of pandemics and crisis situations.’
The experts include Gillo Shedir of the International Freedom of Exchange (IFEX), Mr. Fisayo Soyombo, a writer and investigative journalist and Dr. Uzo Isreal, lecturer and Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the University of Lagos.
Arogundade added that the second capacity building webinar for journalists in the Southern geo-political zones will hold within the next two weeks.
“At the Abuja May 5 event, IPC will present its annual report on the documentation of attacks on journalists in Nigeria while there will be a roundtable discussion on “Information as A Public Good and The Quest for Press Freedom” with Rev. Fr. George Ehusani as the lead Speaker.
“A panel of five comprising representatives of media professional bodies, the civil society and the bar will serve as discussants.
“The Abuja forum is expected to fashion a road map on improved mechanisms for the defence of press freedom in Nigeria,” he explained further.
He disclosed that the webinars and the stakeholders’ forum are being respectively supported by the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) and the Open Society Foundation (OSF) under IPC’s safety of journalists and enhanced safety awareness programmes.