To commemorate Press Freedom Month and to draw attention to the challenges journalists face, the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development or CJID has launched a series of advocacy-based activities.
In a press statement signed by Busola Ajibola, the Deputy Director, Journalism Program, CJID said that data from the Press Attack Tracker, a tool used to monitor attacks on journalists and the media, showed that 45 journalists were attacked in the first quarter of the year, “with physical assault being the most common form of attack,” adding that the attacks have “raised concerns over the state of press freedom in the country and the impunity that characterises the violation of journalists’ safety.”
The organisation said it has planned a “three-part series of activities throughout the month of May,” and the activities will include a “Twitter Space conversation” that is aimed at “promoting free speech and media freedom in West Africa and finding ways to protect these rights.”
CJID will also host a Journalists Security Summit where they intend to “create a platform for journalists to share their experiences and identify solutions that can help improve their safety while carrying out their duties.” They believe this summit will contribute “to a better understanding of the challenges faced by journalists in West Africa and provide a forum for discussing practical solutions,” and then host a webinar on “Who stole the News?: Is the Press under a Digital Siege?” that will analyse how digital technology affects the role and influence of media freedom.
The statement said the theme for this year’s event is, “Journalists’ Safety as a Guarantee for Press Freedom and Human Rights Protection in West Africa” and that the long month’s activities are geared towards that theme.