The International Press Centre, IPC, has urged journalists on electoral duty in Osun State to adequately integrate safety and security consciousness to the performance of their professional roles, noting that the advisory was necessary because many journalists and other media professionals would be on the field for the exercise.
IPC’s Press Freedom Officer, Melody Lawal, in a statement, also said the warning was against the background of rising attacks on journalists by various actors including: the security agencies and political actors.
According to him, “It is, therefore, very important for journalists covering the gubernatorial elections to be safety conscious in the discharge of their duties, and to avoid situations that may put them in arms way.
“The security agencies should note that the media is a critical part of the electoral process and should be accorded due rights and privileges to enable them carry out their social obligations as partners seeking to ensure the credibility of the electoral process.”
As part of initiatives to keep tab on the safety of journalists during the elections, IPC said that cases of attacks or threats to journalists should be promptly reported.
Lawal also enjoined journalists to report any threats or act of violence against them to media professional bodies like the National, Zonal and State Chapters of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE).