Varsity Don tasks Journalists on stories that reduces violence in the country

ATABOR JULIUS LOKOJA.

Worried by spate  of violence extremism across the Country,  Working Journalists have been tasked to pay more attention to the dissemination of news that will help reduce the incidences that trigger off the crisis.  Ibanga Isine, a   lecturer with American University  of Nigeria Yola   and a Resource person at a three day Advance Conflict Sensitive Reportage organised by Action Aid Nigeria (SARVE 2 ) with funding from Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund  Geneva  ( GCERF ) .

Participants at the event.

The seminar which is holding between 15- 19 July ,2019 held at Goshen City Nassarawa state  for some Journalists drawn from Kogi and Nassarawa States.
Delivering a paper titled the role of the media in conflict sensitive reportage, Isine advised media practitioners to avoid using words that will   cause  harm to the people, rather   playing up  issues that build stronger relationship among the people. 
He said Journalists as carriers of information should embark on news behind the news that will provide relieve  and restore confidence to  the victims of violence  stressed that Journalists should do  proper investigation of causes of the violence  to help douse the tensions between the actors of the conflicts.

Isine who is  also a publisher of an online medium Next Edition said a journalist could be effective in reporting conflict sensitive issues if he does  accurate assessment of the issues adding that cultivating relationshils with the communities would help in digging deep into the matter in contention.

He advised to always be sensitive to the early warning signals by communicating with both parties in the dispute so as to build trust among themselves.
While urging Journalists to raise awareness of the threat of violence, should by his report provide relevant information for their safety and security.
He added that every Nigerian should be protected from harmful effect of violent extremism, hence , news stories that will help decrease the  misconceptions should be pursued.

He warned Journalists who want to make success in  investigative reporting to try as much as possible to detach self from the crisis , hinting that placing self in the story could lead to further escalation of the crises. Welcoming participants to the program, Country  Director ActionAid Nigeria Ene Obi said the SARVE 2 project is to work with Nigeria’s poor, to help fight injustice, eradicate poverty in order to reduce violent extremism among vulnerable women and youths in the society.

Represented by the Director, organizational Effectiveness, Funmilayo Oyefusi the country Director affirmed that media is a key player  in the process of peace building, hence the need for the training. 
She urged journalists do strive towards raising awareness on the danger poised by violent extremism thereby encouraging people on the need to coexist peacefully for the growth and development of their communities. Earlier, Resilience Program coordinator Anicetus Atakpu spoke on the need for media to providing information on Safety and security thereby protecting citizens from harmful effect of violent extremism .

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