A nongovernmental organization, Global Rights, has held a two-day training workshop for journalists across the country on Business and Human Rights reporting.
The two-day training workshop held in Abuja on April 29- 30, this year, attracted more than thirty journalists across the print, electronic and online media.
Facilitators in the workshop were drawn from seasoned journalists and public officials, including publisher of Premium Times, Mr Dapo Olorunyomi, Director of International Centre for Investigative Reporting, Mr Dayo Aiyetan, staff of National Human Rights Commission, Pwadumdi Okoh, Mineral Resources and Policy Development Strategist, Mr Ebhota Al-Amin, among others.
While presenting a paper on “understanding the nexus between businesses, human rights and corporate accountability”, founder of Global Rights, Mrs Abiodun Baiyewu, said that journalists, by virtue of their profession, have the mandate of holding government accountable, effecting change in society and making sure that the fundamental human rights of members of the society are protected.
She said: “It is up to journalists to determine the course of governance. Journalists have boundless powers, which many practitioners are not even exploiting. But for the media, the #BringBackOurGirls campaign wouldn’t have been effective, among other success stories. As the fourth estate of the realm, media practitioners should make sure that government is held accountable.
“As journalists, you must make sure that the rights of people are protected. You must make sure that government and business owners deliver corporate social responsibility to citizens and their host communities and that human rights of individuals are upheld and protected at all times. You owe it as duty to society. “
Speaking on “the role of the media in human rights advocacy”, publisher of Premium Times, Mr Dapo Olorunyomi, said that journalists must possess certain principles and should also have a sense of pride in the work they do.
“We don’t interrogate our profession very well. We need a sense of pride for the job we do as journalists. We must abide by the core principles of journalism, which entails being truthful and accurate, independent and accountable, discipline rooted in dedication as well as making sure that our work is dedicated to serving public purpose,” he said.