Experts seek media, security partnership for nation building
Stakeholders have canvassed security agencies and media partnership towards the country’s development.
They canvassed the position at an interactive session between the media and the army entitled: “Partnership between the media and Nigeria’s military for responsible security reporting.”
Speaking at the forum, organised by Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), Executive Head, Editorial Board of The Guardian, Mr. Martins Oloja stressed the need for sincerity of purpose on both sides.
Oloja charged security forces to learn, unlearn old ways of dealing with the media, and also re-learn new methods of managing journalists in this digital age.
He urged security authorities not to build relationship through periodic meetings, but make it an “in and out of season affair.”
He also appealed to the security agencies to give data and facts to the media and let defence reporters and editors have knowledge of the system.
“To arrest reporters because he is not conflict sensitive will engender more hostility. There should be ways of resolving conflicts too. Do simple, but significant things for your friends in the media, de-emphasis cash transactions,” he said.
The veteran journalist implored them to borrow from modern managers who have been telling modern leaders to find wisdom from even semi-literate farmers who know how to keep frogs in a wheelbarrow without allowing any of them to jump away.
Oloja advised the army to leverage the power of the social media by making huge investment in it to improve their operations and relationships with the public.
Also, the Director of Public Relations, Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Sani Usman, warned that the media shouldn’t be used as a divisive instrument among the people, but for the promotion and consolidation of national unity and integration.
He implored the media to always use their reportage to boost the security and Nigeria’s development, and shun subjective security reporting as the nation heads toward the 2019 elections.
Acting Commandant, Nigerian Army School of Public Relations, Col. Mustapha Anka represented him.
A constitutional lawyer, Chris Onwubiko, flayed the existence of fake news and hate speech among media practitioners, stressing that such should be avoided for responsible journalism practice.
“Press partisanship, yellow journalism and corruption must be avoided at all cost and there should be no display of primordial, tribal or religious sentiment,” he said.
Founder and National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Nnadozie Onwubiko said the Nigerian media has made a name for itself all over the world by keeping the nation’s democracy working.