By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
The Nigeria Police Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), has called on journalists to work in synergy with the Nigeria Police for improvement in national security and the safety of journalists.
CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, Force PRO, Abuja, said this at News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Lagos Chapel Media Week lecture held in Lagos on Thursday.
The theme of the lecture is, “Security and Health of Nigerian Journalists: Emerging Considerations.”
CSP Adejobi who spoke through a representative highlighted the reason why the police and journalists should be like friends and cooperate in the discharge of their respective duties.
He said, “Police and journalists should work hand-in-hand. We shouldn’t start having issues.
“I know whenever there is an event or whenever there is a programme or whenever there is a crisis, two people are running to go there, while other people are running for safety.”
According to the police chief, the two groups of people who rush to crisis-ridden places are journalists and the police.
He said that while journalists get information of what has happened, how it happened and pass the information to their target audiences, the police go there to preserve the place where the crisis occurred, and to know if any life or property has been lost.
“The need for the safety of media professionals cannot be over emphasized. It’s quite alarming how attacks on media professionals are being reported almost on weekly basis, hence the need for security and safety of media professionals,” Adejobi declared.
He stated that the safety and security guidelines that journalists should know and observe at the scene of crisis include appreciation of the immediate environment.
Others are that they should have proper means of identification as media professionals, as well as exhibit utmost professionalism and security consciousness.
As the Force PRO highlighted, “appraisal of our immediate environment and situation will help in discovering who and what are obtainable in the situations we find ourselves as media professionals to know if it’s a media-friendly environment or otherwise.”
On the occasion, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), who spoke through a representative, expressed concern that the welfare of journalists is not in the front burner in most media organizations in Nigeria.
He said that society expects too much from journalists without considering what they are passing through.
In his presentation on the occasion, Dr. Samuel Aladejare, President, Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), told journalists to pay special attention to their mental health, because they are exposed to vicarious trauma which affects their health.
He advised journalists to be observing good sleep and exercise.
Aladejare recommended that journalists, especially those who have anxiety, should be practising breathing technique.