On this day May 3rd 1993, at the UN conference began the celebration of the International World Press Freedom Day, an occasion to commemorate the many lives of journalists lost in the course of their profession. It also serves as a reminder to the government of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom.
Every year UNESCO marks this occasion by bringing together UN officials, media professionals and press freedom agencies to assess the state of press freedom, its challenges and limitations and ways to address it. With celebrations held in over 100 countries, the world is finally looking to protect its journalist.
As Nigerian journalists join the rest of their counterparts in the world on this celebration, this year focuses on three inter-related theme: media’s importance in development; safety of journalists and the rule of law; and the sustainability and integrity of journalism. some thoughts can not help but come to mind, is the place of media as a cornerstone for sustainable development,dialogue and democracy been effective in Nigeria, Is the Nigerian press without political bias,is there integrity in our journalism and above all, is the Nigerian journalist assured of safety in the course of his profession. This and many more questions plague the mind of Nigerians on this occasion.
If freedom of expression is essential for the development of a Nation, the lack of it thereof impedes the development of that Nation. In dozens of countries around the world, publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists, editors and publishers are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered.
As we celebrate this day we urge the government to demonstrate more enthusiasm in ensuring the safety of journalists for until the Press is accorded their place as partakers in the development of the Nation, the sector might not know any true progress. We join the rest of the world to honor those lives lost and those who put their lives at risk to ensure good journalism. HAPPY WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY!!!




My name is Gethrude Charles. Recently, I learnt about the opening to participate as a volunteer in the World Wide Web Foundation’s Alliance For Affordable Internet (A4AI) forum at Abuja through Volunteer in Nigeria’s blog. I immediately jumped at the opportunity to have a better perspective of the ICT industry in Nigeria and to network so I registered my interest on the page. When I was contacted by Volunteer in Nigeria that I have been selected along with Shadrach to participate, I waited for Tuesday-11th March-with great anticipation. I have always been interested and have been actively involved in ICT, how it can be improved in Nigeria, its use in our daily lives and how it can be used to boost productivity in different aspects of our lives.
Although Shadrach and I were there as volunteers and our responsibilities were the basics like registering the participants, the friendliness of the organisers from Web Foundation-Miss Emilie Yam and Miss Sonia-made our presence very comfortable as we were treated with respect and were given full access to the entirety of the event.
Participating in the A4AI gave me the opportunity to network and interact with professionals in the sector, many of whom I am still in contact with. The event which was graced with the honorable presence of the Minister of Communications Technology Ms. Omobola Johnson, Mrs Esther Agbarakwe of Devnovate, Ms. Blossom Nnodim- a social media enthusiast, Dr Eugene Juwah-Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Mr Abdullahi Maikano-secretary USPF and so many others was experiential and inspiring. It was amazing to see so many women speak with such authority and audacity that is infectiously inspiring. It brought hope to my spirit as to whether the Nigerian youth can take his place in the society and lead and as to whether the Nigerian females could dare dream to be leaders in their careers without fear.
In a particular segment of the event, participants were subdivided to groups each with a different topic and problem to discuss and resolve, this gave me insight into the vision of ICT in Nigeria and Nigerians as problems faced by the common man in relation to access to good affordable and quality internet were highlighted and possible solutions discussed.
Altogether, the event was enlightening and inspiring to say the least, from its very beginning to the closing statement and I am glad I was given the opportunity to be a part of it.