In a statement by the chairman of Nigeria Union of journalists,NUJ, in Osun State, Comrade Wasiu Ajadosu and the secretary, Bukola Elufadeju, they said media professionals deserved a decent life through a special wage owing to their roles in nation building.
They decried the attitude of some media owners to the welfare of their staff, especially non-payment of salaries and other benefits to media professionals, while some are paying ridiculous amounts to their workers.
It posited 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, hence the need for their special treatment in the country.
It hinted that many journalists had been killed, while others risked their lives daily in the task of sustaining the unity of the nation and projecting the country for national growth and development.
The statement noted that the theme of this year’s celebration “information as a public good” attested to the significance of information to human existence and survival and its place in promotion of public good, as well as good governance.
It explained that the theme also underlined 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 content.
The statement called on public officers to always give media professionals access to information, saying despite the freedom of information act, some public officers were still treating some information as classified and confidential.
It maintained that the media as the fourth estate of the realm must be seen as a formidable partner in the task of nation building.
World Press Freedom Day which was declared by the 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.