IN a bid to encourage accurate, objective, and balanced reportage of conflict situations and the worsening unethical media reports leading to abuse or irresponsible journalism that pursues sensationalism, biases, prejudices, and blackmail, Stallion Times Media Service organized on Thursday organized a one-day media training on ‘Conflict Sensitive Reporting’ in Kano for journalists in Kano state.
The sensitization workshop which was 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 had participants from the print, broadcast, and blogosphere organizations in attendance.
In his goodwill message, the Chairman of the Kano Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Abbas Ibrahim enjoined the journalists to continue building their capacity to maintain their professional status.
He recalled the challenges journalist went through during the analog era, as he encouraged the participants to leverage modern technology to better their journalistic skills.
On his part, the Editor-in-Chief of Stallion Times Media Services, Isiyaku Ahmed stated that the workshop has become imperatively important due to the several reportages of Journalists that had caused unrest in the past and the early warning signs of danger that are obvious in the way stories are framed by journalists.
He added that with the coming of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and social media, it is important for journalists to be abreast of the requisite skills needed in order to counter fake news and other negative narratives that have the propensity of inciting violence in society.
The resource person, Dr. Ruqayyah Yusuf Aliyu of the Department of Information and Media Studies, Bayero University Kano took participants through Conflict Sensitive Reporting and Safety of Journalists and Ethical Journalism Vs Fake News.
The event had a two-panel discussion session that was moderated by seasoned journalists.
A communique issued at the workshop resolved that conflict-sensitive reporting entails being sensitive and attentive to warning signals to conflict, that the consequences of any conflict should not be underestimated, conflict-sensitive reporting contributes to peacebuilding, also that ethics is rooted in philosophy and forms the basis of professional journalism, that involvement into a story is completely unacceptable and condemnable in professional reporting, that the safety of journalists is important in conflict reporting
The communique recommended that journalists should report conflict stories accurately and objectively using a balanced approach that understanding the environment is crucial in conflict reporting and always avoid sensationalism, that journalists should avoid profiling that could lead to victimization, that framing conflict reports should be peace-oriented, that journalists should avoid stereotypes, name callings, and unnecessary profiling.
It also recommended that conflict shouldn’t be allowed to escalate before reporting, and that fake news is false, misleading, unacceptable, and highly unprofessional.
The communiqué was signed by the Kano Council of NUJ Chairman, Comrade Abbas Ibrahim, and the Editor-in-Chief of Stallion Times, Isiyaku Ahmed.