Conflict reporting: Center urges journalists to promote peace

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By Hassana Yakubu

Kaduna – Interfaith Mediation Center on Monday in Kaduna tasked Journalists on the need be proper managers of conflict through their reportage.

Pastor James Wuye, Co -Executive Director of Center gave the advice at the  monthly forum with media representatives on Peace Journalism.

Wuye urged the media channel effort towards mitigating conflicts by promoting peace rather than fueling the situation through sensational reportage.

He said the centre’s Community Initiatives Promote Peace (CIPP), a five years project supported by USAID, was aimed engaging communities on conflicts resolution through dialogue.

The project is being run in six states of Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Kogi, Benue and plateau.

He said the programme was already active in three states principally tracking early warnings and response conflicts.

Wuye said some youths were recruited as Community Peace Observers (CPO) in various communities, charged with the responsibility of reporting issues of conflict so as to manage them from escalating.

Some of the issues the CIPP is charged with is reporting issues such as environmental and ecological challenges as well as tracking politicians who use ethno-religious issues and hate speeches in fueling conflicts.

Malam Abdullahi Sufi the IMC Director Research and Documentation called on journalists to use their profession as a vehicle for peace building in the society.

Sufi noted that the media, being a vehicle for transmitting to the general public, should also be “a vehicle of transforming and managing conflicts.“

Sufi also appealed to journalists to guard against sensational reporting and face issues that will promote peaceful coexistence among adherence of different faith.

“You should change the narrative where people are more interested in violence to reporting issues that would promote peace and peaceful coexistence,“ he said.

The director said journalists must ensure that their sources of were credible and verifiable: “remember we are going to give account of whatever we do to God,  so we should do our work without bias.

“Any that, if passed, is capable of destroying lives and property should not be reported in the media.“

Mr Samson Attah while speaking on the objectives of the meeting, said the programme was to work collectively with media as partners on effort to ensure peace in communities.

He said the programme was also aimed at encouraging the media to promote peace in their reportage, so as to address the negative influence of certain members of communities.

Also, Miss Fatima Buhari  said Peace should be  promoted  for media practitioners to work towards  changing negative social norms in the society.

“Peace ’s explicit aim is to promote peace through initiatives from whatever angle and allow the reader to distinguish between stated positions and real goals,“ Miss Buhari said.