By Emmanuel Iriogbe, Abuja.
The Journalists Global Foundation (JGF), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has tasked the federal and state governments as well as media owners in the country to make the welfare of journalists their priority especially in the face of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and stay-at-home order by the federal government to check the spread of COVID-19.
The Foundation made the call in a press statement issued on Monday, April 20, 2020, in Abuja, and jointly signed by Chioma Amajor and Chizoba Ogbeche, President and Secretary respectively.
The JGF expressed worry that salaries and emoluments of most media workers was not in tandem with the minimum wage, even a number of media houses are owing journalists backlog of salaries and wondered how such media workers and their families are coping with the adverse socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 lockdown.
The statement commended media organisations that are living up to expectations in ensuring the welfare of journalists in their employ and urged them to sustain the tempo while urging defaulting media organisations to emulate them
While commending the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) for taking steps to ensure the safety of journalists in the course of carrying out their constitutional duties during the lockdown, the NGO, however, called on the union not to relent in its effort towards making defaulting media organisations offset the arrears and entitlements owed to journalists in their employ.
The group further called on the federal and state governments to provide protective health consumables for journalists, especially those working during the lockdown, just as the Foundation tasked media practitioners to strictly observe the prescribed health measures against the COVID-19 pandemic to avoid being the news while reporting the news.