By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Osun State Council, has condemned, in strong term, the poor, irregular and sometimes, lack of remuneration of journalists in the country.
The union called on governments, proprietors and owners of media houses to pay journalists living and sustainable wages as and when due to insulate them from pecuniary influence and enhance their roles in nation building.
In a statement issued by the Union’s chairman, Comrade Wasiu Ajadosu and secretary, Bukola Elufadeju on Monday to mark the W
orld Press Freedom Day, governments and other owners of media organisations were urged to create enabling environment for media professionals to practice by giving them decent renumeration.
Despite that media professionals are playing important roles in the entrenchment of democracy and its sustainability aside from being the key actors in the struggle for democratic system in the country, the union lamented that many of them are being denied of their salaries while some are being paid ridiculous amounts.
The statement said media professionals deserved decent life through a special emoluments owing to their roles in nation building.
“We decry the attitude of some media owners to the welfare of their staffs especially non-payment of salaries and other benefits to media professionals while some are paying ridiculous amount to their workers.
“Media professionals are playing important roles in the entrenchment of democracy and its sustainability aside from being the key actors in the struggle for democratic system in Nigeria, hence the need for their special treatment.
“Many journalists had been killed while other risk their lives daily in the task of sustaining the unity of the nation and project the country for national growth and development.
The theme of this year’s celebration: “Information as a Public Good,” attests to the significance of information to human existence and survival and its place in promotion of public good as well as good governance.
“Also, the theme underlines the indisputable importance of verified and reliable information as it calls attention to the essential role of free and professional journalists in producing and disseminating information by tackling misinformation and other harmful contents,” the statement reads
Meanwhile, public officer holders have been charged to always avail journalists access to information.
According to the union, most public office holders still hoard information from journalists despite the Freedom of Information Act.
It therefore called on public officers to always give media professionals access to information and desist from treating some information as “classified” and “confidential.”
The union averred that media, as the fourth estate of the realm must be seen as formidable partner in the task of nation building.
World Press Freedom Day which was declared by General Assembly of the United Nations in 1993 provides an avenue to pay tribute to media professionals who risked or lost their lives in the line of duty.