Greetings to our kind and good-natured people of Rivers State and welcome to another episode of RivEthics on Radio, our character-building weekend show. Please remember that impunity is no one’s friend, as it creates an atmosphere where no one is held accountable. This episode is in Commemoration of the United Nations’ International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, coming up today, November 2, 2019.
Freedom of expression and free media are essential to fostering understanding, bolstering democracy and advancing our efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Statistics have it that more than a thousand journalists have been killed over the past twelve years. These figures do not include the many more journalists, who on a daily basis suffer from non-fatal attacks, including torture, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, intimidation and harassment in both conflict and non-conflict situations. The proportion of women among fatalities has also risen, and women journalists increasingly face gendered forms of violence, such as sexual harassment, sexual assault and threats.
Worryingly, only one in ten cases committed against media workers over the past decade has led to a conviction. This impunity emboldens the perpetrators of the crimes and at the same time has a chilling effect on society including journalists themselves. Impunity breeds impunity and feeds into a vicious cycle.
When attacks on journalists remain unpunished, a very negative message is sent that reporting the “embarrassing truth” or “unwanted opinions” will get ordinary people in trouble. Furthermore, society loses confidence in its own judiciary system which is meant to protect everyone from attacks on their rights. Perpetrators of crimes against journalists are thus emboldened when they realize they can attack their targets without ever facing justice.
When journalists are targeted, societies as a whole pay a price. Without the ability to protect journalists, our ability to remain informed and contribute to decision-making is severely hampered. Without journalists able to do their jobs in safety, we face the prospect of a world of confusion and disinformation.
According to the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, “on this International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, let us stand up together for journalists, for truth and for justice.
Our guest speaker today is, Mr. Itode Aaron, a TV and Radio personality and broadcaster. He will be sharing his insights on the subject. Please enjoy the episode.
Our caring people of Rivers State, don’t forget to always let your manners speak for you.
God bless and keep you and your families and God bless Rivers State.
You can also listen to and download the Pidgin English version of this Episode below