NGE urges N’Assembly to scrap anti-media laws

Recognizing the role of the media in promoting transparency and accountability, the Nigerian Guild of Editors has urged the National Assembly to pass a law that protects journalists who speak on matters of public interest.

The Secretary of the NGE, Iyobosa Uwugiaren, in a statement made available to The PUNCH on Thursday in commemoration of World Press Freedom Day, noted that such a law, if passed, would enable the media to operate responsibly, which will further strengthen the country’s democracy.

He added that many anti-media laws targeted journalists and media houses, which NASS is tasked with fending off.

He said: “The Federal Government will fundamentally promote the environment in which the media can operate responsibly if it adopts a law to protect those who speak out on matters of public interest from unlawful lawsuits designed to silence them.

“The federal government should take a cue from the European Union and other democracies around the world, which have passed similar laws to protect journalists and media houses from a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.

“More so, there are still many obnoxious and anti-media laws on our legal books targeting journalists and media houses. The National Assembly must take immediate steps to repeal them.”

The NGE urged media industry stakeholders to take the opportunity of World Press Freedom Day to emphasize the importance of press freedom and the challenges journalists face, including “censorship, intimidation, detention and violence’.

It added that the government must take urgent deliberate and sustained action to promote press freedom and good journalism in the country.

All rights reserved. This material and other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed, in whole or in part, without the prior express written permission of PUNCH.

Contact: [email protected]