The International Press Centre under a safety of journalists’ project supported by the Open Society Foundation (OSF) commenced the monitoring of attacks on journalists in September 2018 with the aim of providing safety advisory, issuing prompt alerts, and coordinating necessary activities on attacks/assaults on journalists and media outlets.
To ensure effective implementation and coordination, a Journalists’ Safety Alert Desk was established with the engagement of a Safety Alert Officer. The Journalists Safety Alert Desk has carried out the following tasks thus far:
- Launch of a helpline with mobile number (+2348132776441) in response to attacks on journalists and the media;
- Make contacts with journalists threatened, assaulted, or attacked;
- Draft/circulate press releases to condemn attacks and call for investigations and;
- Coordinate related advocacy initiatives on journalists who were attacked or assaulted.
This report encompasses reported attacks on journalists in the year 2020 notably during the restrictions of movements occasioned by COVID-19 Pandemic and the EndSARS protests.
The report covers:
- The location of the incidents;
- The media outlets affected or attacked (whether print, broadcast or online);
- The nature of the attacks ·The identities of the victims;
- The gender of the victims;
- The nature of injury or abuses suffered;
- The alleged perpetrators.
- The report concludes that the prevalence of attacks by security agents poses herculean challenge that must be engaged by stakeholders to ensure that the media continue to function under an enabling environment.
- This becomes pertinent in view of the theme of this year’s WPFD, which is ‘Information For Public Good’. The report contends that the media cannot properly provide information that will serve the public good in Nigeria if the lives and means of live of journalists continue to be put at risk.
- The report recommends, amongst others, the design of a safety manual with updated tips for identifying and reporting threats to safety to be made available to journalists and other media professionals. This is actually already being undertaken by IPC.