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IN commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day (WFPD), the International Press Centre (IPC) in collaboration with the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), on Thursday, trained no fewer than 50 journalists on safety, security, and management of trauma while covering dangerous assignments.
The IPC Executive Director Lanre Arongundade, while speaking during the training held via Zoom, stated that the training of journalists drawn from different parts of the Northern part of the country was the first of a two-part training in pursuant of the 2021 WPFD day tagged, ‘Information as Public Good.’
He noted that the second part of the training would capture another set of 50 journalists from the southern part of the country.
A representative of IFEX Gillo Cutrupi, who took the participants through a session tagged, ‘Safety Reporting and the Challenges Online and Offline,’ geared the participants on the need to be security conscious with their dealings both online and offline.
Cutrupi said there was a need for journalists to always employ the service of strong security locks on their gadgets, particularly mobile phones, in order not to be exposed to danger.
He added that secured anti-virus and emails were also strong measures journalists needed to put in place for their safety.
Executive Director of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) Fisayo Soyombo, who taught the participants on the safety best practices in investigative reporting and coverage, urged them to always ensure adequate security backup whenever on any investigative assignment.
“It is not enough to be brave, the highest standard of protection should also be applied on the field,” Soyombo said.
The multiple award-winning investigative journalist, however, charged the journalists to always strive to stay alive while working so hard to stay on stories.
He also admonished the participants never to endanger their families and friends while discharging their duties.
In her words, Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Department of Psychology of the University of Lagos Uzo Israel urged the participants to always take cognisance of their mental health while going about their day-to-day activities.
She urged the participants to always ensure they took long work, deep breaths, and relax well to purge themselves of any stress that could inhibit their wellness.
She added that there was no way a journalist could toe the investigative line without being physically and mentally healthy.
Earlier in his statement, Arogundade had said apart from the training for the select journalists, the IPC in partnership with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), the Radio Television Theatre and Arts Workers Union, and other stakeholders, would, on May 5, hold a forum on ‘Information as Public Good and the Quest for Press Freedom in Nigeria’ in Abuja.