Kaduna Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has trained no fewer than forty journalists on security and responsible journalism.
This is with the view to proffer some tips to media practitioners in the state on how to downplay illicit lingering activities of terrorists and criminal elements in the country through media contents.
Delivering a paper titled, “Insecurity and Responsible Journalism”, during the maiden workshop at the NUJ Secretariat on Thursday, the facilitator, Col. Abdulkadir Zubairu Ahmed (Rtd), said, in casting headline, “there are two faces to a coin”.
This is just as the security expert further explained that every news headline has the capacity to cause stability or instability because in the country.
While speaking, the Retired Col. Ahmed also said: “If we see ourselves as part of the corporate entity of the country, we should be able to promote national security, unity and development irrespective of the media organisation we represent.
“You should be able to coin your story in a way that would not cause chaos or glorify the activities of criminal elements at the expense of the nation’s unity, development and progress.
“Any time you are writing a conflict story, it should be able to terminate the conflict and promote how to cushion the effect of the conflict on the victims that lost their lives.
“When we talk about national security, we are talking about what concerns the nation. We talk about norms and culture and how to achieve them for economic development and peaceful coexistence. There must be national resources to meet these norms and culture. If norms and culture are not achieved, that is where we have what is called insecurity, the whole country will be completely unsecured through some vices and illicit activities such as banditry, kidnapping, incessant killings, and so many things will come up to cause insecurity.
“In corporate journalism you have to promote the country as your own corporate entity. The general public wants to hear about how to use Kaduna/Zaria road peacefully to conduct their businesses. Why not simply report that the military were able to clear the bandits on Kaduna/Zaria road, though lives were lost, the road is now safe for use. This is how to promote true journalism. This is corporate journalism.”
Ahmed therefore urged journalists to use their pen to promote stability and bring about economic development of the nation.
He further said, “for example, if bandits block Kaduna/Zaria road and the military went there and brought it under control, and probably in the cause of action 10 soldiers were killed, and bandits were also killed. Will you go and report that though the Zaria road was cleared, 50 soldiers were Killed, and begin to add what kind of soldiers do we have. That is not journalism. That is not corporate journalism.”
In her opening remarks, the Chairman of the Council, Comrade Asma’u Yawo Halilu explained the training afforded the participants the opportunity to have more knowledge on how to report conflict.
“It is also to remind us that security is everyone’s business, hence, the need to downplay certain information during crises to avoid reprisals,” the Chairman said.
According to her, “the training on security will be in batches, this is the first with 45 members and another will be held next week with another set of 45 participants. By God’s grace, there will be two more batches which will hopefully be held in January and March respectively.”