UNIC, MRA to Hold Seminar on Journalists’ Safety on World Press Freedom Day, 2013


Lagos, Tuesday, April, 30, 2013: The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Lagos and Media Rights Agenda (MRA) are organizing a joint seminar to discuss the safety of journalists as they mark this year’s World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) in Nigeria.

The theme of the seminar – “Securing the Safety of Journalists” – aligns with the global theme for this year’s edition of the World Press Freedom Day, which is “Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in All Media” and which places particular focus on three elements – the global issues of safety of journalists; combating impunity for crimes against freedom of expression; and securing a free and open Internet as the pre-condition for safety online.

In line with the global theme for the 2013 WPFD, the seminar will seek to highlight the issue of safety of journalists, particularly in Nigeria, where journalists are becoming increasingly endangered; and its implications on the right to freedom of expression, not only for the journalists, but also for their audiences.

The seminar is also aimed at creating awareness among relevant stakeholders about the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity; and formulating a Strategy for Ensuring the Implementation of the UN Plan of Action in the Nigerian context.

Key speakers at  the seminar will include CSP Frank Mba, the Force Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Police who will speak on “The Role of the Nigeria Police in Ensuring the Safety of Journalists”; Mr. Femi Adesina, President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), who will speak on “Building Partnerships between the Media and Law Enforcement Agencies to Ensure the Safety of Journalists”; and Mr. Gbenga Sesan, a renowned ICT and social media expert and the Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN), who will speak on “Strategies for Securing the Safety of Journalists Online”.

The Seminar will take place on May 3, 2013 at the Conference Hall of the UN Information Centre in Ikoyi, Lagos and is expected to bring together over 80 journalists from the print, broadcast and online media; members of human rights and civil society organisations, members of the Nigerian Police Force and members of the public.

The Seminar is expected to come up with strategies for addressing the incessant attacks on journalists and the media, including by the security agencies.