Stallion Times Media Service on July 13, 2023, conducted a one-day training for journalists drawn from the print, broadcast, and online media in Kano State to encourage accurate, objective, and balanced reporting of conflict situations and reverse the worsening unethical media reports leading to abuse or irresponsible journalism characterized by sensationalism, biases, prejudices, and blackmail.
Comrade Abbas Ibrahim, Chairman of the Kano State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), in his goodwill message, enjoined participants to continue building their capacity to maintain their professional status. Recalling the challenges journalist went through during the analog era, he encourage the participants to leverage modern technology to better their journalistic skills.
Isiyaku Ahmed, Editor-in-Chief of Stallion Times Media Services, in his welcome remarks, said the workshop was important due to the several reportages of journalists which had caused unrest in the past and the early warning signs of danger that are obvious in the way stories are framed by journalists.
Isiyaku added that with the coming of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and social media, it is important for journalists to be abreast of the requisite skills needed in order to counter fake news and other negative narratives that have the propensity of inciting violence in society.
Dr. Ruqayyah Yusuf Aliyu of the Department of Information and Media Studies, Bayero University Kano, one of the resource persons, took participants through a presentation titled Conflict Sensitive Reporting and Safety of Journalists and Ethical Journalism Vs Fake News.
The event, which had two panel discussion sessions moderated by seasoned journalists came out with a communique issued at the end of the workshop. Participants resolved that conflict-sensitive reporting entails being sensitive and attentive to warning signals of conflict, that the consequences of any conflict should not be underestimated, that conflict-sensitive reporting contributes to peacebuilding, that ethics is rooted in philosophy and forms the basis of professional journalism, and that the safety of journalists is important in conflict reporting.
The communique also recommended that journalists should report conflict stories accurately and objectively using a balanced approach, that understanding the environment is crucial in conflict reporting and that reporters should always avoid sensationalism. It also warned that journalists should avoid profiling that could lead to victimization, that framing conflict reports should be peace-oriented, that journalists should avoid stereotypes, name callings, and unnecessary profiling.
The workshop also recommended that conflict shouldn’t be allowed to escalate before reporting, and that fake news is false, misleading, unacceptable, and highly unprofessional.
The communiqué was signed by Comrade Abbas Ibrahim Isiyaku Ahmed.