The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Wednesday urged media practitioners to know their rights to avoid conflict of interest.
The Chairman of NUJ, Lagos Chapter, Dr Qasim Akinreti, gave the advice at the launch of the ”Nigerian Journalist Internet Rights Initiative” (NJIRI) and Tweet Conference to mark 2018 World Press Freedom Day in Lagos.
”Journalists should be more professional and ensure that they are adding value to the society. We also need to be accountable.
”If we are going to do all these, we should also know our rights and where it ends,” he said.
Akinreti said that journalists should also use their potentials to be media entrepreneurs, adding that it was possible for journalists to use their contacts to build media empire of their own.
He said that journalists should endeavour to be on online platform and start with blogging.
Mr Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director, Paradigm Initiatives (PIN), in a presentation on ‘Internet Rights and the Imperative of the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill’, said journalists needed to be interested in media bills.
Sesan, represented by the Programme Officer, Mr Adeboye Adegoke, expressed regret that journalists did not know the content of the Freedom of Information Bill and Cyber Crime Law.
According to him, journalists need to be interested in the laws, study them to know when their rights are tramped upon.
Sesan added that journalists needed to be sure that people did not invoke laws that did not exist.
Dr Tunde Akanni, a Lecturer, School of Communication, Lagos State University, said that the research by NJIRI was an eye opener to where the media industry was in terms of internet rights.
Akanni, who spoke on ‘Issues in frameworks, freedom of expression and internet rights in Nigeria: baseline research by the Nigerian Journalists Internet Rights Initiative (NJIRI)’, said the idea was to hold government accountable.
He said it was also to ensure that people did not get away with regulations that was not in the interest of online journalism.
NAN reports that NJIRI aimed to advance the right to freedom of expression for online journalists in Nigeria.
It is also to ensure that online platform are safe and free of institutional limitations for journalists and other media practitioners to use as medium of information and engagement.
The theme of 2018 World Press Freedom Day is: “Keeping Power in Check: the Media, Justice and Rule of Law.’’ (NAN)