The Nigeria Union of Journalists has called on corporate bodies to support its efforts in ensuring a successful hosting of the 2020/2021 Press Freedom Award for collective good of all and better Nigeria.
The NUJ President, Chris Isiguzo, at a news conference on Wednesday in Abuja said this year’s edition would be combined with last year’s as the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown prevented the celebration.
Isiguzo explained that the award was to celebrate the important principles of press freedom, defend the media from attacks on their independence and pay tribute to journalists who had lost their lives in the line of duty.
He further stated that many journalists had faced harassments, threats, physical injuries, imprisonment and even deaths in the course of discharging their legitimate duties.
He hinted that the event, scheduled to hold on May 4, would honour media owners, corporations, political and public office holders, who actively supported press freedom in Nigeria.
The NUJ President said no democracy could grow and flourish without vibrant and independent media that would be a catalyst for good governance and rule of law.
Isiguzo said the award would be in seven categories: torch bearers’ awards, press freedom platform awards, corporate partners of media, corporate friends of the media, defenders of the press, life time achievements and distinguished friends of the press awards.
He said: “The press freedom is an indispensable pillar in the architecture of any democracy.
“No democracy can thrive without citizen’s adequate access to transparent and reliable information.
“Press freedom is the cornerstone for building fair and impartial institutions.
“It is a catalyst in the mobilisation of the citizenry to hold their leaders accountable as well as promotes speaking of the truth.
“It is the courage and sacrifice of these journalists that we are celebrating by organising the third and fourth editions of the 2020/2021 NUJ Press Freedom Awards.”
Isiguzo said all nomination should be sent to: pressfreedomawards.nuj.org, with supporting documents, while hard copies should be sent directly to the National Secretary of the NUJ.
In his remarks, the Managing Director of Enentis Communications Limited, Peter Ademu-Eteh, expressed delight for partnering NUJ in delivering the programme, adding that the role of the media in promoting democracy could not be overemphasised.
“It is our belief that this little effort we are making will contribute to the growth of democracy and help in the participation of the citizenry, and also help with national development,” Ademu-Eteh said.