The Nigerian Guild of Editors has called for the release of all detained journalists across the country.
The call was made in a communique issued after the 15th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference in Sokoto State which was jointly signed by its President, Mustapha Isah and General Secretary, Mary Atolagbe.
Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, is in the custody of the Department of State Service despite court orders granting him bail while Agba Jalingo, who is the publisher of the online CrossRiverWatch, is also standing trial in Cross River State.
The editors demanded the release of all the journalists in detention, noting that democracy thrives better in countries that cherish and promote media freedom.
The NGE also condemned all dictatorial tendencies against the media in the country.
Expressing concern over the hate speech and social media bills at the Senate, it pointed out that draconian legislations have no place in a democracy.
According to the communique, the NGE also; “Noted that Nigeria’s dwindling economic fortunes had contributed to the distress in the media industry and urged government to overhaul its economic policies in order to reflate the sagging economy and increase the revenue streams of the nation.
“Canvassed for diversification, improved funding, collaboration, specialised journalism education programmes, newsroom re-engineering among other innovations necessary for revenue generation and sustenance of media businesses.
“Emphasised the need for serious capital injection into the media industry to enable it overcome under capitalization.
“Identified ownership interference as a key factor militating against free operation of the media and advised owners of both public and private media organizations to pay more attention to facilitating the smooth operations of the media as truly business outfits.”
The conference which started on November 27 and ended on Dec 1 was chaired by a former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba.