Newsmen in Nigeria have been called upon to de-emphasise reporting terrorism in the country with a view to avoid helping terrorists to popularising their narratives.
Mr. Bayo Atoyebi, a former Executive Secretary of Nigerian Press Council, made the charge while delivering a paper on “Code of Ethics and Social Responsibility as Parameter for Reporting Terrorism” at a workshop organised by Nigerian Press Council (NPC) in collaboration with Forte and Benz Limited in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
According to Mr. Atoyebi, terrorists got more excited, fulfilled and encouraged to carry out their deadly enterprise when they read reports on the dastardly acts in the media.
He posited that if media practitioners avoided amplifying their narratives, they would be discouraged.
Dr. Segun Arike, in his presentation, charged newsmen to always consider national interest while delivering their social services to the people.
In his paper entitled: “The Role of Media in Maintaining Balance Between Public Right To Know and National Interest,” he explained that newsmen should see to maintaining peace in the country through their reportage.
Dr. Bisi Olawuyi, the chairman and moderator of the workshop, emphasized on the need to come up with alternative and counter narratives to checkmate the insurgents through adequate report on positive efforts of the military.
He advocated teaching of journalists in reporting terrorism which he noted was a new dimension in the practice in the country.
Dr. Olawuyi suggested that NPC should produce a code on reporting terrorism in the country for reports devoid of primordial agenda.
Dr. Olugbenga Abimbola, while presenting his paper: “The Role of the Media In Countering Terrorism,’ noted that should respect victims of attacks and avoid helping the insurgents in instilling fear in the mind of the citizenry.
Mrs. Funke Fadugba, who spoke on ” Challenges of the Media in Reporting Terrorism, ” charged NPC and lawmakers should provide the elements that would help media practitioners redefine terrorism narratives.
Mr. Francis Nwosu, the Executive Secretary of NPC, assured that the Council would continue to see to training of media practitioners in the new trends in the line of their practice.