From Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
Owing to the escalating crises in parts of the country that are daily claiming thousands of lives and property a Non Governmental Organisations, ActionAid has trained media practitioners on the need to always present reports that will prevent or douse crises rather than escalating it.
The two -day training which brought experts from the office of the National Security Adviser, research institute, University and top media organisations held at Kini Country-Inn Akwanga, Nasarawa State and tagged Policy Engagement for Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) during and post COVID-19 in pursuance of the System and Structure Strengthening Approach against Radicalization to Violent Extremism (SARVE II) Project.
In a communique at the two day training journalists and media professionals were told to
douse rather than escalate conflicts in their reportage to prevent radicalisation and violent extremism and serve as agents of positive change in their reportage towards promoting peace and harmonious relationship in the various communities.
They were also told to exhibit tolerance, accommodate and humanise their stories to prevent violent extremism by being conflict sensitive in their reportage and fair to all parties in conflict to prevent the cycle of violence.
They are also trained to uphold journalism ethics by ensuring that their reportage is accurate and balanced while taking responsibility for their reportage as they are charged to deploy their professional skills and competencies to effect positive change towards promoting a peaceful and harmonious society.
The need to always collaborate with government and relevant agencies was stressed towards influencing policies that could promote and reduce radicalisation to violent extremism by setting agenda for peace and development in the society through expose to budget defects towards making budgetary processes more transparent and accountable.
The communique also urged media practitioners to anchor their reportage in budget analysis to address disposing factors to radicalisation and violent extremism while monitoring the impact of their reportage on issues that are related to the prevention of radicalisation to violent extremism.
They are also urged to always pay attention to the needs of women, children, and youths in their reports and monitor on budgetary allocation to address issues in that sector that can drive radicalisation to violent extremism while advocating for citizens active participation in the budgetary processes to promote inclusiveness.
Journalists are also advised to always take safety precautions in the newsroom and on the field while reporting in the post COVID-19 era by employing the necessary measures, techniques, and strategies in reporting in the post COVID-19 era.
The Federal Government is also called upon to establish operational protocol for journalists covering the COVID- 19 pandemic and appeal to CBN to make one-digit loans available to media houses affected by COVID- 19 and lower tariffs for media consumables, which they said are largely imported.
For the sustainability of media operations in Nigeria in the post COVID-19 era, Media owners and media managers are told to adapt their contents to the current COVID-19 realities by developing new business models that will give them more capacity to grow.