Source: Innocent Anaba
The national secretariat of Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, has called on the Federal Government and other stakeholders to provide life insurance for journalists, who are on the frontline in the coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The union also called for the provision of adequate and effective Personal Protection Equipment, PPEs, and palliatives to ease the hardship these journalists encounter daily while on their respective assignments.
National President of NUJ, Mr Chris Isiguzo, in a statement, yesterday, said: “In recognition of the urgent need to enhance the working condition of journalists in the country, and considering that there can be no freedom of expression or freedom of the press where journalists work under precarious conditions and are exposed to danger, poverty or fear, the NUJ calls for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to enhance salaries, allowances, pensions and general condition of service for media professionals.
‘Specifically, we call on the federal and state governments to take note of the fact that journalists, like in conflict situations, are daily exposed to grave danger as a result of their professional calling.
“Accordingly, we call for life insurance for journalists, who are on the frontline in the coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic, provision of adequate and effective Personal Protection Equipment, PPEs, and palliatives to ease hardships they daily encounter while on their respective assignments.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that there is an urgent need for the federal and state governments to intervene to save the media industry from collapse.
“We call for a Special Media Stabilisation Fund for privately owned newspapers and broadcast media so as to sustain government’s strategy in its fight to contain the spread of the coronavirus and also ensure that the fight against the pandemic is not put in jeopardy.
“It is also important to remind government that while devising strategies to contain Covid-19, it has become imperative for a well designed economic initiative to be considered to address a likely economic recession that may follow, considering that even before the outbreak of the virus, Nigeria had been designated the poverty capital of the world, with large segment of the population living below the poverty line.
“It is feared that if the present situation persists, the nation may suffer its worse economic recession, if not depression, which only a bold and well crafted economic restructuring plan by government would mitigate. The time for government to act is now.” (Vanguard)