ABUJA— African Free Press, AFP, yesterday, in Abuja, unveiled its plan to host the maiden edition of the Press Freedom Awards and benefit dinner in honour of journalists who are victims of hazards of the media profession.
Chief Executive Officer of African Free Press and founder, Press Freedom Awards (Africa), Mr. Clem Aguiyi, who disclosed this in a statement, bemoaned the plight of journalists and called for a comprehensive action plan to protect media practitioners from the aggressions of both state and non-state actors.
He said: “Journalists across Africa face a lot of professional hazards and challenges trying to report news and inform the public of critical events. There are reported cases of journalists being threatened, harassed, brutalized and unlawfully detained in the course of practising journalism.
“It is against the backdrop of challenges faced by media practitioners, that African Free Press, AFP, is driving the initiative to honour veterans and active media practitioners in an event tagged ‘AFP Press Freedom Awards and Benefit Dinner (Africa).’
Seasoned media practitioners who have shown extra-ordinary brilliance and courage will be recognized with Life Time Achievement Awards and Distinguished Service Awards respectively, while the Friend of the Media Awards and Medal will be given to politically exposed persons who actively support press freedom and media access to information.
Aguiyi solicited the support of journalists towards the success of the upcoming event and enjoined media practitioners to individually and collectively own the event as a media project as the success of the event will go a long way to advance the cause of press freedom and media rights.
‘We risk losing free press if we do not stand up now for press freedom,’’ he said.