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Media workshop on ‘Reporting Conflict in Nigeria’ ends in Awka

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A THREE-DAY intensive   media training on ‘Reporting Conflict in Nigeria,’ organised by  the U.S Embassy, in collaboration with Nigeria Union of Journalists(NUJ) and Channels Television ended on Thursday, with a call to journalists to make choices that improve the prospects for peace in their reportage.

  The facilitator of the training, Steven Youngblood of the Center for Global Peace Journalism, Park University, identified the choices as “how to frame stories and carefully choosing which words are used, create an atmosphere conducive to peace and supportive of peace initiatives and peacemakers, without compromising the basic principles of good journalism”.

  Youngblood observed that “journalism in Nigeria is beset with a range of problems, beside the physical threats Journalists face daily. Journalists are among the worst paid professionals in Nigeria. Several media organisations owe their journalists several months’ salaries.

  “The consequence has been an increasingly worrying ‘brown envelope’ culture where journalists are given financial rewards in exchange for covering media events. This culture obviously exposes the press to manipulation by powerful politicians, businessmen and corrupt government officials. Also, due to poor regulation, the field has seen a rather unfair share of quacks resulting in yellow journalism practice…”

  He however stressed the need for journalists to maintain balance, objectivity, neutrality in the discharge of their duties while avoiding the use of  non-inflammatory languages and  giving voice to the voiceless in order to be safe and help enthrone peace in the country.

  Earlier in her opening remarks, spokesperson of U.S. Embassy and Press Attaché, Jeanne Clark maintained that the United States is aware of  various security challenges in the country, urging  journalists to use the opportunity to map out ways to address the issues while ensuring their safety.

  Provost of Channels Academy, Mr Kingsley Uranta, expressed happiness over the continuous partnership with the U.S. Embassy and  thanked them for  bringing such training opportunities to Nigerian journalists.

  The training, which was held virtually at the Awka Window on America, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, was equally held in other American spaces in Abuja, Kano , Bauchi, Sokoto, Maiduguri, among others.

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