By Abdulwaheed Olayinka Adubi, Kaduna
The Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs in Kaduna State, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, has tasked journalists in the state on peace building through ethical reportage of security and other sensitive issues.
The Commissioner made this charge during a seminar and award organised by the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ); Kaduna state, where he said that the state is being confronted by the monsters of banditry and terrorism.
Aruwan, while speaking on the theme of the seminar; ‘Tackling Security Challenges; The Role of The Media, he gave assurance of victory against the unwanted development soon.
According to the Commissioner, as professional journalist, ethical journalism is a vital tool towards peace building, urging that journalists should uphold the ethical value and carry out their duties with all sense of responsibility.
He noted that information is power, adding that individual’s power to act is limited to the information he is exposed to, and as such, the impact of perception on public discourse is huge, and thus shaped by the media.
Said he; “the power of the media is like two sides of the same coin. On the one hand, independent and pluralistic media provides a platform for healthy debate and sharing of opinions.
“On the other hand, media can be grossly misused and abused for the purposes of propaganda, to incite hatred, spread rumours and divisive narrative and therefore create tensions.
“It has become even more pervasive in recent times with technologies like the internet, social media and instant messaging,” he said.
While speaking, he frowned at some sections of public in selling narrative of ethno-religious conflict as substitutes for the stark reality of banditry, criminality, terrorism, and economic tensions.
Aruwan further explained that terrorists and criminals are now given ethnic tags, which only serve as cloaks to further protect them from the glare of the truth.
“The crucial task for the media now, is creating that balance between protecting freedom of expression and preventing harm caused by unrestrained free speech.
“Finding that balance is very important, especially in a pluralist society like ours, which unfortunately has been charged with vibes of social, political and ethno-religious division
“We must engage in responsible journalism, and that is journalism which does not simply re-publish press releases, or spread random broadcasts on social media, but is truly concerned with a balanced and truthful account of events.
“Journalists should not exploit loss and suffering through selective condemnations, but making sure that reporting is balance, peace journalism should be focused on preventing further escalation of conflict,” he emphasized.