Today marks the World Press Freedom Day set aside by the United Nations to raise awareness on the importance of the freedom of the press and to remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression as enshrined under Article 19 of the 1948 declaration of human rights.
This year's theme, 'Critical minds for critical times: Media's role in advancing peaceful. Just and inclusive societies,' could not have been more apt given the challenges facing the media in the drive towards nation building.
As the day is marked in Nigeria, the Global Amnesty Watch, a non governmental organisations for the protection of human rights and the dignity of man, wishes to felicitate with the Nigerian press on the occasion of the world press day.
The Nigerian press has come a long way to attain the level of sophistication and acceptability it has recorded today and deserves commendation for weathering the storm through very difficult and trying moments in our nation's history.
Indeed it can be said without fear of contradiction that the democracy Nigeria is enjoying today is largely due to the sweat, doggedness and perseverance of the Nigerian media.
The Nigerian media can therefore not afford to fail the citizenry but must strive towards maintaining it's integrity by exposing all acts that tend towards eroding the gains of nationhood.
The birth of the social media which has added fresh dimensions to the concept of news dissemination and it's integration as a news genre should also be handled with utmost care and maturity to allow a wider reach of ideas and issues that would foster the development of the country.
Mrs Helen Adesola, Country Rep.
Global Amnesty Watch.