In order to improve the quality of conflict Sensitive reporting among journalists, especially in the North East Region of Nigeria, the North East Development Commission (NEDC) has began deliberate move to build the capacity of Journalists through training and retrainings.
As part of the move, the commission had put up a three Day Capacity Building Workshop on conflict Sensitive reporting for journalists practicing in the North East Region.
The workshop which drew participants across the six states of the region, including Adamawa, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe states, waa held at Dajimu Hotel, Maidugur the Borno State Capital.
For the the three days of eventful activities with the men of the ‘pen profession’, participants were exposed to several issues sorounding conflict Sensitive reporting and practical ways of dealing with the reports were unravelled in a thrilling and jovial moment through experience resource persons.
Declaring the occasion opened, the Minister for Humanitarian affairs, Hajya Sadia Farouk who was represented at the occasion, appreciated the resilience of journalists towards information decimation and encouraged them to continue living up to the tenets of their profession despite all the challenges they are facing in the course of discharging their their responsibilities.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of North East Development Commission (NEDC), Alkali Goni in his remark, urged journalists to provide peacemakers, a platform through which they could restore tranquility in the North East region.
Goni said the purpose of the workshop was to equipped journalists with good sense of editorial judgement to enable them report conflicts in a manner that it would be tamed down instead of been escalated.
Presenting a paper at the occasion, a Senior Fellow of the Institute of Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ibadan, Dr. Nathaniel Dominic Dajibo, maintained that journalists and media owners must consider themselves as mediators on issues of conflict and crisis.
He advises that in every report bordering on conflict, issues of National interest should override no matter how much gain would come from exaggerated reportage of such events.
Danjibo cautioned journalists to always avoid intriguing and sensational headlines that would trigger feelings that would cause conflict against each other in the country especially the North East even as he urged them to always cross check facts before rushing to the press particularly in times of crisis.
While frowning at the negative impact the leadership of the country has on reports in the media Danjimo challenged journalists to put off regional, sectional, religious, ethnic and political differences and engage in peace reporting, insisting that it was the only way to catch up with the development progress of the developed countries.
In another paper presented by the Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Kashere, Gombe State, Prof. Umar Pate, the journalists were encouraged to see Nigeria as their only home and so do everything to protect it through effective and accurate reportage.
The Vice Chancellor who took the journalists on the topic ‘‘Conflict-sensitive Reporting from the Humanitarian Dimension’’, challenged journalists who allow sentiment to overwhelmed them in the course of performing their duties and urged them to desist from such unprofessional habbits.
He maintained that conflict and war emanate from the perception of individuals and urged journalists to work more on the ethic of their profession rather than the belief and perceptions of the people.
Meanwhile, participants were at the end of the workshop, presented logistics to enhance their performance.