OrderPaperToday – The Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) is set to launch a report examining the state of Press Freedom in Nigeria.

The launch will take place on Thursday at a virtual conference.

The report titled “State of Press Freedom – Trends and Reflections” is a critical analysis of press freedom and surrounding issues and contains contributions from fourteen (14) professionals across the media value chain, a statement released by the Program Officer (Media Freedom), Stephanie O. Adam’s said.

“This report, supported by Free Press Unlimited (FPU) seeks to review the landscape of press freedom and draws connections between the several issues that concern the media in a way that reflects the state of its existence.

“It sheds light on present challenges to media freedom, drawing attention to the need to amend laws that constrain press freedom in Nigeria, end violations of journalists’ rights, innovate around media business models to sustain a truly free press, among other issues discussed in the report.

“A highlight of the report is the analysis of a snap survey that examines the public’s perception of media freedom, operations and sustainability”, the statement reads.

The Programme Director of PTCIJ, Ms Tosin Alagbe, lamented that journalists and activists have been spied on, threatened, arbitrarily arrested, forcedly kidnapped and unlawfully detained.

“A free press is vital for every democracy because a free press plays a critical role in informing people about their rights, holding governments accountable and allows for varying conversations about issues of public interest.

“Worsening these threats is the introduction of two prohibitive legislative proposals – the Hate Speech and the Social Media Bills, which until recently were under consideration in National Assembly. It does not help matters that Nigeria flouts its own multiple treaty obligations.

“Our vision at PTCIJ is a truly independent media landscape that advances fundamental human rights, good governance and accountability in Nigeria. The Centre cannot achieve this vision without advocating a truly free press in Nigeria, and it does this through its Media Freedom Project”, she said.

According to her, Nigeria flouts international instruments that promote free freedoms which has been agreed upon with international communities.

They include: Articles 19 of the Universal Declarations on Human Rights, Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, Sections 65 and 66 of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Protocol and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) protocols.

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