From Msughshima Andrew, Makurdi

The Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Benue State Council, Mrs Victoria Asher has called on government and security agencies to ensure adequate protection of journalist as partners in the Nigerian project.

The Chairman made this call in a press statement signed on her behalf by the council Secretary, Moses Akarhan and made available to 247ureports.com

She said as the council joined their fellow colleagues across the globe to commemorate this year’s World Press Freedom Day themed: “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in times of disinformation, it is necessary to call attention to freedom and protection of media men.

She commended the media for its role in sustaining the democratic rule in the country, especially the professional conduct of media practitioners in the just concluded 2019 general elections.

Mrs Asher further called on Media owners to improve on the remuneration of their staff to enhance their productivity just as st urged security agencies to always protect the media from attacks as they play their watchdog role it.v the society.

The NUJ Chairman also appealed to state government to improve the condition of state owned media to ensure that they have a conducive  environment for optimal performance.

The NUJ chairman called on members of the Public, particularly politicians, leaders and the government to see the media as partners in progress and support media Freedom to advance the agenda of deepening democracy and sustainable development in the society.

She urged Journalists to adhere to the ethics of the profession and always verify their information before reporting to avoid fake news, which is a canker worm to the society and a threat to the profession.

She said fake news causes security breach, communal, religious and ethic distrust and warned members to desist from it.

The statement read in part, “World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1993 following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference on May 3. The day is globally set aside to raise awareness on the importance of freedom of the Press in shaping the society.”

The Union also paid tribute to all their colleagues who lost their lives in the course of carrying out their duties and prayed God to grant them eternal rest.