Activist seeks protection of media rights, says attacks on media practitioners a bad omen

Posted by News Express | 2 June 2016 | 2,141 times

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A human rights activist and executive chairman of Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ) has called for the protection of media practitioners’ rights, even as he lauded the Senate for throwing out the self-serving bill designed to gag the social media in Nigeria. He described it as a welcome development and a step in the right direction.

Comrade Alimi Sulaiman Adeniyi stated this early in the week during a two-day training programme for non-governmental organisation (NGO) workers, on the use of social media platform. The seminar, which held at the Ekiti Hall of Airport Hotel, Ikeja, in Lagos, was organised by the Media Support Centre (MSC).

Adeniyi, who doubles as chairman, Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun State (CSCEOS), regretted the series of recent attacks on media practitioners while discharging their constitutional duty in the country, describing the development as bad omen for the polity and the fourth estate of the realm.

The rights activist urged media house owners in the country to be sincere and painstaking in payment of their staff’ salaries and wages, in order to discourage the ‘culture of brown envelop’ which has engulfed the media industry. He advised media practitioners against being sensational in their coverage of news or yellow journalism.

In a lecture entitled ‘Political Economy of the Media Industry’, another speaker,   Dr Tunde Akanni, a lecturer and journalist, stated that it was necessary for the people, including NGOs, to support the community media. He urged participants to subscribe to diverse instruments of disseminating information to the public on their organisations’ activities.

An executive member of Centre for Free Speech (CFS), Tunde described online media platform as the most liberalised medium of credible information for free speech, as enshrined in Sections 22 and 39 of the amended 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Freedom of Information Act 2011. He advised the public to go to the various sites on Internet in order to search for more information, to ascertain the authenticity of any news story.

Earlier in his welcome address, a Lagos-based journalist and executive director, Media Support Centre (MSC), Comrade Wale Fatade, said that the centre organised the two-day training programme to expose participants to the use of several social media platforms for the dissemination of information of their organisations and to complement their campaigns. Fatade, therefore, urged the participants to make use of the knowledge acquired at the programme, “by not allowing the seminar to just be another training exercise.” He charged them to be technically smart in propagating the mission and objectives of their respective organisations.

The participants were exposed to skills on shooting of short videos for social media sites, using data (graphics) for powerful stories; use of WhatsAp, BBM, Twitter, Facebook  on information dissemination. The training also covered use of Internet online media for building of international alliances for local campaigns, and shifting of emphasis from Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

•Photo shows Comrade Alimi Sulaiman Adeniyi.


Source: News Express

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