Participants at the capacity building workshop for journalists in Kogi have resolved to resist being used as propaganda tools by politicians.
They also agreed to be accurate, objective and fair in their reportage.
This is contained in communique issued at the end of the one-day training for media practitioners on “Conflict Sensitive Reporting”, on Saturday in Lokoja.
The workshop was organised by Stallion Times Media in collaboration with the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism under the Collaborative Media Project with support from the MacArthur Foundation.
The communique was jointly signed by Mr Isiyaku Ahmed, the Editor-in-Chief of Stallion Times Media Services, and Alhaji Adeiza Jimoh, the Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kogi Council.
The communique cautioned journalists against being used for propaganda purposes, inciting hatred and spreading rumours, thereby artificially creating tensions.
It advised journalists to first understand the issues in conflicts, not suppress facts in order to be objective and not to aggravate conflicts.
The communique recommended that peace building should be the core objective of journalism reportage, while minding their safety by adhering to usage of safety kits in conflict coverage.
It also urged journalists to adhere strongly to their Code of Ethics, and not be carried away by the ‘Breaking News syndrome’.
It further advised reporters, editors and media owners to build professional solidarity to promote ethics and good governance, redouble their efforts and live up to the values and standards of the profession.
The communique also enjoined media practitioners to expose, isolate and eliminate all forms of incitements to intense hatred and violence.
“Owners of media houses must provide a framework for providing healthcare and social protection for journalists.
“Media professionals must be trained and re-trained on political, physical and social terrain in which they operate. A body should be set up to regulate the activities of journalists in Nigeria,” the communique stated.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the project is one of the Stallion Times activities in second year of the three-year participatory Governance and Media Literacy project, tagged “Get Involved, Dialogue and Improve (G-DRIP)” in Kano and Kogi States.
The Resource Person, Mr Shuaibu Leman, presented two papers on “Conflict Sensitive Reporting” and “Fake News and Ethical Journalism”.