Live Up to Values, Standards of Media Profession, Stallion Times Urge Kogi Journalists

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Practising journalists in Kogi state have been urged to expose, isolate, and eliminate all forms of incitements to intense hatred and violence.

Speaking at a one-day workshop on Conflict Sensitive Reporting in Lokoja on Saturday, the Project Coordinator, Stallion Times, Mr Isiyaku Ahmed, called on journalists in Kogi state to apply maximum professionalism in their duties for the good of the society.

He urged journalists to redouble their efforts and live up to the values and standards of the profession.

Isiyaku said journalists should not exercise fear but be cautious while doing their work, especially in resolving conflicts in the society.

He explained that Stallion Times Media Service organized the one-day workshop in Kogi in a bid to encourage accurate, objective and balanced reportage of conflict situations.

The resource person, Mr Shuaibu Leman, said that it was imperative that journalists should hold government and all leaders accountable in spite of the harassment thrown at them.

Leman, who is the National Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), delivered lectures on Conflict Sensitive Reporting and Safety of Journalists as well as Fake News, urged journalists to develop a thorough understanding of conflicts and convey the understanding to their audiences and readers.

“Journalists should examine and evaluate any effort made at resolving such conflicts as well as dynamics at play.

“Journalists should strive at all times to give accurate representation of the causes of conflicts whenever and wherever they occur,” he said.

He noted the poor remuneration, poverty, anti-media laws, insufficient insurance cover, poor working conditions and advent of digital journalism as part of reasons for fake news in the society.

At the plenary sessions, participants called on journalists to create awareness and ease political as well as other societal tension caused by poverty, illiteracy and absence of good governance.

While believing that free, independent and pluralistic media provide a platform for debate and different opinions, participants cautioned against the media being misused for propaganda purposes, to incite hatred and spread rumours, thereby artificially creating tensions.

Participants also tasked journalists on identifying conflicts triggers, resist pressure to suppress facts but should be mindful of choice of words in their reportage.

The workshop was one of Stallion Times’ 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.

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