NHRC Boss harps on capacity building training for journalists

The National Human Rights Commission has said that continuous training of journalists was imperative to enable them to keep a tab on the ever-emerging challenges and development in the journalism profession.


The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Chief Tony Ojukwu (SAN) stated this during the opening ceremony of a capacity building training tagged, “Defending the Rights of Journalists and Media Practitioners through Safety Mechanisms”, which was organised by the Commission for the Staff of the Corporate Affairs and External Linkages Department and journalists in Abuja between 1st and 2nd of June, 2022.


According to the NHRC Boss, “It cannot be gainsaid that safety of journalists has been a growing concern in the country and elsewhere in the world, given that some journalists operate under difficult conditions, where freedom of expression and the press is relegated to the background. In such climes, the issue of censorship, harassment, unlawful arrest and detention, and assassination are not uncommon”.


The Chief Custodian of Human Rights in Nigeria maintained that capacity building for journalists was crucial because journalists who are the agents of change and promoters of good governance should be exposed to training and retraining to enable them to understand the safety mechanisms which they need to survive in any situation and pragmatically discharge their duties effectively.


The Executive Secretary therefore observed that the training is designed to address issues pertaining to conflict reporting and hazards of journalism, the new media and challenges of freedom of expression, communication and safety rules of journalists, among others, which are critical to any practicing journalist.


“Incidentally, the above concerns highlighted in the training outlines about journalism practice relate to this year’s theme of World Press Freedom Day celebration, “Journalism Under Digital Siege”, which is apt as it seeks to bring to the fore, the impact of the digital era on the freedom of the press, the safety of journalists, and access to information and privacy”,

“This training is designed as a give back, as a corporate social responsibility on the part of the Commission to the journalists. This is because we value the partnership between us”, Ojukwu recalled.


In his goodwill message at the event, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Press Council (NPC), Mr. Francis Nwosu solicited the collaboration of the Commission towards ensuring the protection and safety of journalists in the country.


According to him, there was an urgent need to have a rapid response mechanism to assist journalists in times of crisis since some of them could be operating under difficult terrain that might pose danger to their lives and livelihood.


There were more goodwill messages from Konrad Adenauer Stiftung KAS, International Center for Investigative Journalism, Socio-economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), among others.


The Resource Persons for the training included; Dr.Umar Jibrilu Gwandu,Ms Joy Baiye ,Mr.Ajibola Hamzat Dr.Obiora Chukumba,Mr. Malachi Uzendu,Ms Ramatu Umar Bako.

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