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    Tuesday, June 27, 2023

    Stallion Times Trains Journalists on Conflict Reporting

    In a bid to encourage accurate, objective, and balanced reportage of conflict situations, Stallion Times with the support of the Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) and the MacArthur Foundation has trained no fewer than 40 journalists from online, print, broadcast, and bloggers in Kogi State on conflict and sensitive reporting.

    Working Journalists in the country have been charged to use their reports to douse crises and stay alive rather than causing harm to the society.

    This is just as they were advised to use appropriate language that can create awareness and ease political, economic, illiteracy challenges and absence of good governance facing the society.

    This was the submission at the end of one day training and workshop on Conflict Sensitive reporting for Journalists in Kogi state by Stallion Times Media Service as one of its activities in year 2 of the 3-year Participatory Governance and Media Literacy project tagged “Get Involved, Dialogue and Improve (G-DRIP)” in Kano and Kogi states.

    The project is in collaboration with the Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism under the Collaborative Media Project with support from the MacArthur Foundation.

    According to the communique which was jointly signed by the Chairman of Kogi state Union of Journalists, Adeiza Momohjimoh and Isiyaku Ahmed, Editor -in- chief of Stallion times noted that it is only independent and pluralistic media would provide a platform for free speech, while cautioning against the media being misused for propaganda and to incite hatred and spread rumours, thereby artificially creating tensions.

    The workshop believes that finding a balance between preventing harm caused by hate speech and fake news could hamper peaceful coexistence and heighten social mistrust among the people.

    The participants warned journalists working on conflict and crises situation to stay off judgemental representations and to express reality without embellishment.

    It added that Journalists working on conflict must first understand the dynamics and actors in the crises to be able to objectively address the issues rather than reporting from lack of the history and triggers of the conflict.

    While calling on journalists to be mindful of the choice of words to be used, he implored them to be alive to their ethical nuances and the burden placed on them by the constitution of the country.

    According to the communique, Peace building should be the core objective of journalism, while Journalists should be mindful of their safety by adhering to the usage of safety kits while covering conflicts zones.

    “Media men should not be carried away by the ‘Breaking News syndrome, which often time leads to insufficient facts of the story thereby leading readers to seek for other unauthorized sources with dire consequences on the peace and security of the citizenry.

    “Despite threats, physical and moral hazards, media practitioners are expected to live up to the values and standards of the profession, while isolating all forms of incitement among the warring parties.

    While emphasising on the need for media owners to take welfare of the Journalists seriously, called for training, retraining of Journalists and to provide healthcare and social protection nets for journalists.

    The communique noted that for effective monitoring of the activities of Journalists and media owners, a special institution should be set up aside Nigeria Press Council that will be responsible for regulating promotion of professionalism of media industry in the country.

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