The Rivers State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), has vowed to disrupt any press conference/briefing taking place outside the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre on Moscow Road, Port Harcourt.
The Council took the decision after separate meetings with the Press Conference Committee and Roundtable Committee, last Wednesday.
The NUJ, in a statement signed by its Secretary, Ike Wigodo, said any press conference or briefing held outside the NUJ Press Centre is illegal.
The Union noted that some corporate firms, associations, political parties and their chieftains in Rivers State are in the habit of holding their press conferences and briefings outside the NUJ Press Centre, thereby depriving the Union of its rights and privileges.
The NUJ described such actions as illegal and warned members of the Union against honouring such invitations.
The statement stressed that the current NUJ Executive in the State was out to restore sanity to the journalism profession as well as protect the integrity of journalists in the State.
“It is common knowledge that some corporate firms, associations, political chieftains and their parties, in order to cut corners and deprive NUJ of its rights and privileges, usually invite few journalists or media houses for press briefings. This attitude encourages quackery in our profession and will no longer be tolerated.
According to the statement,” court sessions are not held out side the court rooms and so, Press Conferences and briefings should not hold outside the Press center.”.
“We appeal to members of the public, most especially corporate organisations, political and pressure groups, government agencies and non governmental organisations, who want to hold press briefing/conference to always do so at the NUJ Press Centre or approach the State Council for advice.
“We also urge our members to protect the integrity of our profession by dishonouring invitations for press briefing/conference outside the NUJ Press Centre”, the statement said.
The Union warned that it would not hesitate to disrupt any illegal press briefing/conference taking place outside the Press Centre, while also sanctioning any journalist that attends such event.
The statement, however, urged its committees on Press Conference and Roundtable to be alive to their responsibilities.