Nigerian newspapers have jointly published the same front page as part of a campaign by the country’s media industry to oppose two media bills that they see as undermining press freedom in the country.
Nigerian newspapers have jointly published the same front page as part of a campaign by the country’s media industry to oppose two media bills that they see as undermining press freedom in the country.#InformationBlackOuthttps://t.co/zXVvAV0bbm pic.twitter.com/AtdDrah2n6
— Dot In A Circle – Onye Spare Parts (@The_Jonathanian) July 12, 2021
If the bills become law, those convicted could be jailed for up to three years.
It confers on the Press Council the power to determine ethics and fake news, investigate infractions and impose fines on journalists, publishers and distributors. It proposes fines of up to N.25 million on the journalist, and N5 million on a corporate body. It specifies jail terms of one to three years and fines ranging from N.25 million to N5 million on journalists, news agents and media outlets.
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) and Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN) believe the real reason behind the amendments is to monitor and control what they publish, “which also infringes on the ‘society’s right to know and be heard’”, they said.
Today newspapers are using their front pages to protest attempts by the Nigerian authorities to gag the media and deny Nigerians the right to know: pic.twitter.com/KsuujI2ly4
— Amnesty International Nigeria (@AmnestyNigeria) July 12, 2021
The information blackout campaign will run for two days.