Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Media Identify Factors Responsible For Conflict, Violent Extremism In Nigeria

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….Specify Their Roles and Solutions

By Joseph Edegbo

A 2-day Media Master Class on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism in Kano and Kaduna States has been held in Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria.

Themed “Strengthening media advocacy for fiscal responsibility and good governance to prevent Violent Extremism”, the training was organized by ActionAid Nigeria which
recognises the media as key stakeholders in advocating for good governance to prevent violent extremism having been equiped with the right knowledge and skills.

It was against this background, the participants brainstormed on various topics including Understanding conflict and Violent Extremism as a journalist, the Power of Narrative, Understanding Media influence about budget tracking and Resource allocation to PVE, as well as Enhancing Journalism and Digital media Literacy towards promoting Good Governance and Rule of Law.
Others were, the Role of media for peace building and conflict resolution in Nigeria, Conflict Sensitive Reporting and Media assessment of economic policies for national development towards prevention of conflict and Violent Extremism.

A group photograph by the Participants 

In a Communique issued at the of the training, participants were of the strong belief that the media play key roles in promoting good governance through advocacy and policy influencing to prevent Violent Extremism.

The Communique identifies lack of good governance in form of unemployment, poverty, exclusion, or marginalization and in access to services as factors responsible for conflict and Violent Extremism.

The Participants noted that 45.49 million of persons (representing 34.2 per cent) who are multi-dimensionally poor, or poverty resides in the Northwest (Kano and Kaduna inclusive) accounting for the largest population of persons who are multi-dimensionally poor in the country and a driver of Violent Extremism.

The Communique contends that the role of the media is not to be mouthpiece or propaganda tool, but to approach reporting as seeker of truth, social cohesion prioritizing report that promotes tolerance and understanding between communities.

The participants reminded themselves that their choice of words/vocabulary could make or mar reports.
“As journalists, our tools (words, sounds and images) should be applied to foster understanding instead of fears and myths
“As journalists, we should be discreet in reporting & precautionary measure should be used when covering any report on conflicts/ violence.
“Some of the leaders we look up to are the ones making money out of conflict, some of them are conflict entrepreneur.
Resolutions
“That journalists are charged on their watchdog role in the society to hold government accountable to ensure good governance, with focus especially on interventions that could translate into Violent Extremism.
“That Journalists should engage economic policies for national development to beam their search light on projects with plans to address factors or drivers of violence extremism.
“That Journalists should amplify interventions of ActionAid with the intervention on SARVE III by beaming their searchlight on projects which could trigger Violent Extremism.

“That Journalists should improve their skills in the areas of observation, eye for details, listening skills and immerse themselves in world of the subject in order to come up (write) with a compelling story using the language of narratives.
That Journalists should embrace Solution Journalism, Investigative journalism, Data journalism, Fact Checker among others.

“That Journalists should be cautious of terminologies used while reporting conflict and avoid inflammatory content.

“That Journalists should focus on reporting that breeds tolerance not the one that inflames conflict.
That Media reports should be accurate, impartial, fair, objective, and responsible not to cause violent conflict.
“That Journalist should be trained on risk protection before embarking on any violence report.
That Journalists should give voice to peacemakers and tolerance seekers.

The training featured the election of officials of Journalists Against Violent Extremism, JAVE for the two States .

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