A Non Governmental Organisation, Community Initiatives for the Promotion of Peace (CIPP) has called on Media Practitioners to avoid reportage that can influence escalation of violent conflicts.
The NGO said media practitioners should rather used their position to help build peace and stability of the society.
This was disclosed yesterday in Lokoja at a One Day Training on Conflict Sensitive Reporting for Media Practitioners organised by the Africa Radio Drama Association (ARDA) in Partnership with Mercy Corps with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The training according to the organisers was aimed at equipping Journalists on the best approaches to report the prevention of violent extremism (PVE) with a view to de-escalate the conflicts.
Resource Person for the training, Mr. Obinna Chukwuezie in his paper Titled, “Skills for Conflict Sensitive Reporting, noted that Journalists and broadcasters are face with the increasing challenge of either using words that heightens conflicts or those words that give credence to peace building.
“Journalists as purveyors of information should know what and how to use words that engender peace rather than words that demonize one of the parties in the conflicts.
“Journalists should be aware that conflicts in societies are influenced by political, ethnic, religion, government and the governed, hence, they should try as much as possible to embark on early reportage so as to bring about early response for early resolutions.
“Media institutions are double edged instrument which can be used to promote violent or to prevent the occurrence of violent extremism.”
Chukwueziw urged Journalists to be abreast with the complexities of their environment, different values and interests, stressing that their position is so crucial to peace building.
The resource person said all stories are assumed to interact with the conflicts, hence the need to avoid the usage of cliches and harmful words that can aggravate the conflict
“If media practitioners want to succeed in building peace should first of all do profiling of the crisis, causes of the problem, knowing the actors and the conflict dynamics will help him to do reports and programmes that will appeal to them.
“Media practitioners should understand the negative and positive effects of their stories. They should first of all ask themselves of the motivation to enable the stories to contribute to peace building rather than to escalate or inflame the conflicts.