The Media has been asked to use conflict sensitive reportage in diffusing tension, reduce and contain conflicts towards creating a peaceful society for sustainable development.
The Publisher, The Nigerianpost Newspaper, Mr. Abu Oshiomieh Michael made the disclosure at a presentation on creating enabling environment and shaping peace through conflict sensitive reportage: Lessons from Kogi, Nasarawa States.
Mr. Abu who spoke at the day two of the ongoing Media Masterclass on Preventing Violent Extremism in Kano and Kaduna States with the theme: Creating Enabling Environment and Shaping Peace Through Conflict Sensitive Reportage.
The Masterclass is organized by ActionAid with funding by Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF), holden at Goshen Hotel Keffi, Nasarawa State for media practitioners from the selected states.
Mr. Abu described conflict sensitive reportage as occasion by the growing wave of media instigated conflicts, described conflict sensitive reportage as a Journalism style that create opportunities for society to take the route of non violence when responding to conflicts, said it is a Journalism style that uses the concept of balance, fairness and accuracy.
The Publisher urged the media to rather than use war phrases which contribute to conflict escalation, charged them to use peace phrases, warned against partisanship and partiality in crisis reporting.
Mr. Abu explained that it is regrettable that many societies are now witnessing more violent conflicts, warned that Nigeria is on the precipice, fragile in nature, lamented that with the challenge of insecurity, the need for the media to imbibe conflict sensitive reportage as a priority to stem violence cannot be overemphasized.
He said staying away from stereotyping and profiling on the basis of tribes, ethnicity, religion, place of residence as well as refraining from making pejorative reference to person’s sex, physical or mental ability would help in conflict sensitive reportage.
While he advocate for professionalism using the necessary codes and ethics of journalism, he sue for training, retraining, Sensitization on conflicts sensitive reportage for media practitioners to enable them understand the rudiments of conflicts sensitive reportage.
While urging the media to avoid sensationalism in their reporting and headlines, he urged for the use of the right choices of words and languages, charged Journalists to always detach themselves from stories no matter the temptation to do the bidding of tribes, religions, creed and political interest.
Mr. Abu tasked Journalists to focus on neutrality and facts, by verifying their facts, prioritize accuracy over agenda, urged them to be transparent, accountable and accurate by capturing all sides of the opinion.
The Publisher described the mass media as a powerful tool for communication in conflict sensitive reportage, said it should be used positively to promote peace and resolve conflicts at the appropriate time.
Mr. Abu concluded by saying conflict sensitive reportage restores peace, does not promote violence, pointing out that it serves as an intervention for development during conflicts, described it as a brand of reportage that gives recognition to people who condemn violence.