JODER, IEE task journalists on conflicts resolution, development
Journalists for Democratic Rights (JODER), in collaboration with the New York-based International Institute for Education (IEE), yesterday urged media practitioners to act as pathfinders through investigative reporting and adherence to professional ethics.
Executive Director of the group, Adewale Adeoye, gave the charge in Lagos at a media session organised for journalists, insisting that they have a great role to play in conflicts resolution and development of the country.
He stressed that reporting diversity was one of the strategic ways newsmen could add to the debate on the country’s future and strengthen its democratic institutions.
Adeoye, who said the country needed stable and sustainable development, added, “Nigeria is passing through difficult moments. Since the country’s independence, there has not been an inspiring national ethos.
“The country remains deeply divided, poverty and underdevelopment remain dominant, even as justice and human rights issues are yet to be fully addressed.”
He, however, urged the media to shape Nigeria’s future through diversity reporting, noting, “By reporting diversity, journalists are also promoting good governance, preventing conflict and deepening the culture of debate, dialogue and strengthening the capacity of the media to promote the public good.”
Speakers from civil society, self-determination groups, past and practicing journalists, among others, attended the parley.
They emphasised the need for journalists to eschew sentiments and go the extra mile in research, especially in conflict situations.
The speakers said while reporting conflicts, it was important for journalists to learn the cultural perception of the people involved to achieve credible, fair and balanced reporting.
A civil society representative, Ajayi Popoola, lamented that the era of creative journalism was almost gone, adding that there was the need to develop reading culture among journalists.
“The journalist must report beyond press conferences, public relations statements and be agents of change in the society,” he added.
Also, Bright Ezeocha of the Igbo Youth Organisation regretted the lack of in-depth reporting of conflict issues, citing the example of the alleged Army invasion of Nnamdi Kalu’s home on September 14, 2017.
“No media house saw the need to investigate further. About 28 people were killed on that day and no media reported it. I urge the Nigerian media to carry out more investigation outside the normal press statements,” he said.
Former Deputy Editor of Daily Independent, Tunde Abatan said, “Reporters are expected to engage diversity reporting through an intensive constructive dialogue. Diversity reporting in a plural society like ours is as important as promoting utilitarian value and the public good.”
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