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PTCIJ underscores need for security of newsmen

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THE safety of media personnel has been adjudged highly important especially in a society where insecurity is on the rise. Newsmen are therefore urged to prioritize their security above duty. 

This is part of the messages of a 2-day workshop for journalists organised by the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), which kicked off on Wednesday, themed: Holistic Security and Safety Management.

The workshop facilitated by professionals was attended by journalists from media organisations across the country.

At the training, facilitators stressed the need for the holistic wellbeing of media personnel during their dispatch of duties. They stressed the point that the security of journalists was of the essence and should be taken into serious considerations.

On security, journalists were told to analyze the importance and risk entailed in the reporting of sensitive stories before embarking on it.

Reasons, according to the PTCIJ, was that the reportage of event like attacks has a greater negative effect on the emotional, physical and psychological wellbeing of newsmen.

The workshop held that a consistent reportage of insecurity stories like Boko Haram, sexual harassment, depression, etc, can incite trauma for journalists.

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They called on managers of media firms to avail journalists the opportunity for a periodic visit to psychologists to cross-examine themselves, ensuring a good state of health, for improved working productivity.

Also, a facilitator on digital security, Adekunle Adedeji advised that journalists should be more informed on digital security because protecting their working tools and securing their information, was equally as important as their physical wellbeing.

In the same light, a fitness expert, Olumayokun Okunnu noted that media personnel should be abreast of physical tactics on self-defense skills, to protect themselves from all forms of harassment and threat.

He said because such insecurities are inevitable and seldom encountered, journalists should be physically fit at all times.

The organisers of the event decry the unfavourable condition of journalists in Nigeria, where there are no laws protecting the profession.

Despite the existence of a right to freedom of expression, they said there are still no laws protecting the press from freedom after expression.

Highlights of the training featured journalist fitness, cross-examination, physical security tactics among other skills.

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