National Security: CDS tasks journalists on objective reportage
Martha Obi, Abuja
The Nigerian Defence Correspondents have been called upon to have the interest of the nation at heart in their reportage for National security.
The Nigerian Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor represented by Chief of Defence Administration, Real Admiral A.B Adamu made the call in Abuja during a One –Day Capacity Building Workshop For Defence Correspondents with the Theme “The Role of Defence Correspondents In Enhancing National Security: Imperatives of Conflict Sensitive Communication” in collaboration with TheMediaToday, TMT.
General Irabor said that “the workshop is coming at the right time when the country is facing with security threats ranging from insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and other crimes”.
He noted that Defence Correspondents in their reportage will support kinetic efforts of the military in combating insurgency through national building adding that it is necessary that Defence Correspondents will also support the on-going military operations by aligning their media campaign strategies.
The Defence Chief said “globally, conflict sensitive Information management is critical to National development and as such, the way and manner in which conflict sensitive information is processed and disseminated to general public could be positively or negatively affects National security”.
He added that the workshop is to acquaint journalists with the imperative to improve their technical knowledge needed for them to effectively analyze and report the operational and other activities of the military.
He said “journalists covering defence should be able to understand the technicalities of the military and other security agencies in trying to restore lasting peace in the country”.
The Chief Executive of Media Today International, Mr. Charles Odenigbo said “Journalism entails a high degree of public trust.
According to him, to earn and maintain this trust, it is morally imperative for every journalist and every news medium to observe the highest professional and ethical standards”.
Mr. Odenigbo noted in the exercise of these duties, a journalist should always have a healthy regard for the public interest.
He added that trust is the cornerstone of journalism and every journalist should strive diligently to ascertain the truth of every event.
The Resource person, the Head of Communications, University of Abuja, Professor Abiodun Adeniyi said “conflict is part of life but the way and manner your handles it matters”.
According to him, conflict sensitive journalism refers to an approach to news coverage in which journalists acknowledge that the way in which they report on conflict can increase tensions or enhance the prospects of peace.
Professor Adeniyi said “conflict sensitive journalists recognize that news always has an impacts which could be positive or negative”.
He noted that the military needs the media in order to inform the public about its role and maintain public support.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Assistance Director Defence Information, Air Vice Marshal Wap Magida said “this year’s workshop is the maiden edition of the Armed Forces under the leadership of Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor”.
According to him, over the years, they have witnessed media reportage that can harm and affects military operations adding that sometimes, cause great damage to the nation.
He said “it is against this background that Defence Headquarters organized this workshop”.
Many people participated in the interactive sessions both in panel of discussion.
Awards and certificate were given to participants.