Stop salacious & callous Nigerian news reporting using graphic text, pictures & videos

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My childhood friend, Sym Otike-Odibi was murdered in tragic circumstances on 3 May 2018. The news was broken on the day accompanied by a horrific graphic photograph of his body lying in a pool of blood and a photograph of his alleged assailant being taken to hospital with stab wounds around her abdomen. The tone of the news reports have been salacious and unnecessarily sensational.

Sym had friends all around the world and a lot of them including me have found out about his death via these sensational stories carried by blogs (Linda Ikeji's for example) and social media - in my case on Instablog9ja blog on Instagram. This has been incredibly distressing. The news outlets have then gone on to fan the sensationalism by encouraging frantic speculation by the general public leaving comments that will be panful reading for Sym's loved ones especially his child for years to come.

We need the Nigerian press to put a stop to unethical news reporting and for blogs to be closed down swiftly on receipt of legitimate complaints from members of the public. We need all social media platforms to get on board along with global government co-operation.

I am sad not only at the loss of a friend from my childhood but about the pain that salacious reporting is causing his family and friends.

This started with a Facebook post and I have been shocked at the number of Nigerians who have found out about bereavements from graphic and unethical social media posts. One commentator in response to my post said that she found out about the death of a very good friend on social media accompanied by a photograph of her friend’s body. Others have reported that members of the general public will take selfies with the recently deceased and post the pictures on social media. As another friend commented, we need to respect each other both in life as well as in death and I agree because to continue to do otherwise demeans us all.

This petition is dedicated to Sym Otike-Odibi whose life has been tragically cut short. Please sign and disseminate this petition to stop this barbaric practice. Rest in perfect peace Sym.

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