Newsmen from the Southwest geo-political zone have called for collaboration with the Nigerian Press Council (NPC) to enhance professionalism and checkmate quackery in the industry.
This is contained in a communiqué at the end of a two-day workshop on the Role of the “Media in Combating Violent Extremism and Terrorism in Nigeria’’ on Thursday in Ibadan.
The communiqué is jointly signed by Mr Francis Nwosu, the Executive Secretary of NPC and Mr Ademola Babalola, NUJ Chairman, Oyo Council.
The workshop was organised by the NPC in collaboration with Forte and Hanz Limited.
“The media has a major role to play in combating terrorism; hence, it must engage in ethical behaviour and act with the aim of benefitting and not harming the society.
“The media should set high standard and shun offensive contents that could trigger crime, violence and civic disorder or harm minority group.
“The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) should partner the NPC to work out modalities for the professionalisation of journalism towards checking the activities of quacks.
“The NUJ should prevail on employers of journalists to pay salaries as and when due, so as to prevent journalists from temptations and compromise,’’ the communiqué said
It recommended that in reporting terrorism, journalists should ensure information they obtained was from trusted sources, adding that such information should be fact checked.
The communiqué urged the NPC to work with stakeholders in the media industry, security agencies and international support groups to produce a handbook on reporting terrorism and violent crisis.
“Media houses must stop giving unnecessary publicity to the activities of terrorists that would further enhance the enactment of fear the terrorists seek and may also encourage other individuals or group to engage in such conducts.
“Every media organisation 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.
“Regular trainings on coverage and reportage of terrorism should be organised for journalists to enhance their capacity. Also, Journalists should be accorded the absolute freedom and protection in the course of doing their job.
“NPC should prevail on media houses to always place professionalism above commercial or financial interest,’’ it said.
The communiqué stressed that newsrooms of media houses should be equipped with necessary working tools and facilities needed for fact checked
It added that orientation programmes for new intakes or staff should be reintroduced by the NUJ in partnership with management of media houses.
“Media houses should always ensure periodic profiling of employees to ascertain those who have deviated to become extremists or sympathisers of terrorists.’’