COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE END OF A TWO DAY WORKSHOP ON “THE ROLE OF MEDIA IN COMBATING VIOLENT EXTREMISM AND TERRORISM IN NIGERIA” ORGANIZED BY THE NIGERIAN PRESS COUNCIL IN COLLABORATION WITH FORTE AND HENZ LIMITED, HELD  BETWEEN 17TH AND 18TH OF NOV, 2021. 

The workshop which was held in SDM Tarven, Ibadan, Oyo State had participants drawn from the six southwest states which are Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ondo Ekiti and Ogun.

Declaring the workshop open, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Press Council, Mr. Francis Nwosu said the workshop was initiated to sensitize professionals on the best approach and ways of covering and reporting terrorism and activities of extremists.

He  urged  journalists to shun sensationalism, armchair journalism and other unethical practices that could promote violence or fear in the society.

Four papers were presented during the workshop with the topics, Code of Ethics and Social Responsibility as Parameter for Reporting Terrorism By Former Executive Secretary, NPC Mr. Bayo Atoyebi, The Role of Media in Maintaining Balance Between Public Right to Know and National Interest By, Former Editor-in- Chief, NAN, Mr. Segun Aribike, The Role of Media in Countering Terrorism By Dr. Raphael Olugbenga Abimbola and Challenges of the Media in Reporting Terrorism By Mrs. Funke Fadugba.

At the end of the presentations, the following resolutions were reached.

1.That the media has a major role to play in combating terrorism hence it must engage in ethical behaviours and act with the aim of benefitting and not harming the society.

2.That the media should set high standard and shun offensive contents that could trigger crime, violence and civic disorder or harm minority groups.

3. That the Nigeria Union of Journalists NUJ should partner the Nigerian Press Council to work out modalities for the professionalization of journalism towards checking the activities of quacks.

4.That NUJ should prevail of employers of journalists to pay salaries as and when due so as to prevent journalists from temptations and compromise.

5.That in the report of terrorism, journalists should ensure information are obtained from trusted sources and ensure such information are fact checked.

6.That the Nigerian Press Council should gather all stakeholders in the media industry, journalists with experience in coverage of terrorism, security agencies and international support groups to produce an invaluable handbook for reporting on terrorism and violent crisis.

7.That we need to have a more functional and effective Press Councils, empowered and not encumbered, to enforce the high ethical and professional standard deserving of the Nigerian media.

8.That media houses must stop giving unnecessary publicity to the activities of terrorists as such would further enhance the enactment of fear the terrorists seek and may also encourage other individuals or group to engage in such conducts.

9. That every media organization should have a guide or style book that would serve as a guide for its employees towards ensuring that they operate in line with best practices.

10. That regular trainings on coverage and reportage of terrorism must be organized for journalists to enhance their capacity.

11.That Journalists must be accorded the absolute freedom and protection in the course of doing their job.

12. That MBC should prevail on media houses to always place professionalism above commercial or financial interest.

13.That newsrooms of media houses should be well equipped with necessary working tools and facilities needed for fact checked and update while orientation of new intakes  programme should be reintroduced and carried out by NUJ in partnership with management of media houses.

14. That Media houses should always ensure periodic profiling of employees to ascertain those who have deviated to become extremists or  sympathizers of terrorists.

Signed

Executive Secretary NPC

Francis N Nwosu

NUJ Chairman Oyo State

Ademola Babalola.

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