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Stakeholders Call for Change in Media Roles in Conflict Reporting

Stakeholders in the media have called for a change in the role of the media to address the systemic weakness in the coverage of insurgency and encourage peace building in the country.

The stakeholders made this known in Abuja on Wednesday at a one-day workshop on Reframing Media Studies of Crime, Insurgencies and Counter Terrorism in Nigeria.

The workshop was organised by the Peace and Conflict Journalism Research Centre (PAJOREC) in collaboration with the University of Manitoba, Canada.

Prof. Muhammad Yusuf, the Director, PAJOREC, said that there was need for media practitioners to take away all forms of sentimental opinions, especially during conflicts reporting.

According to him, the workshop will produce some forms of research on the way forward to reporting conflicts and subject them into analysis.

“The media has done a lot in the coverage of insurgency but why is the coverage not helping to phase out these problems, those are the question we want to find out from this workshop.

“It is also a key question and how the media can be covering conflicts and are there possibility that our sentiment are playing out in the way we cover insurgency and how can we change that?

“How can we be dispassionate completely, not emotionally attached to what we are giving to insurgency and conflict after putting all the report together.

“We have many countries that their media have done different things in reporting conflicts like Algeria, they have suffered more than Nigeria,” he said.

Yusuf said that the workshop would produce a very broad research that would be subjected to analysis on how to cover the concept of conflict insurgency.

Prof. Mamman Tahir, the Vice Chancellor, Baze University, commended the University of Manitoba for its continuous partnerships with the university.

Tahir was however hopeful that the collaboration would be extended to other areas of academic between the two universities.

Prof. Russell Smandych, the Lead Researcher from the Department of Sociology and Criminology, University of Manitoba, said the research had been on for three years.

Smandych said that series of research team had been involved in comprehensive analysis of media reporting of crime and terrorism in the country since 1999.

He said that the workshop was aimed at gathering current information on the role of mass media including social media to encourage peace building in the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that stakeholders at the workshop agreed that the problems of ownership, culture and religion factors are the bane of reporting conflicts.

They argued that the inseparability of friends and politics and as well as political policy framework had brought about ethnic champions that are projected in the media.  (NAN)



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