Be Conflict Sensitive As Election Periods Approaches – University Don Tells Newsmen

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Journalists at the on going UNDP Workshop in Ibadan.

By; BAYO AKAMO,  Ibadan

A University Don, Dr Gbemisola Animasahun on Tuesday advised media practitioners in Nigeria to be conflict sensitive as election periods in the country are fast approaching.

Dr Animasahun gave the advice in Ibadan while delivering a lecture titled “Principles of Conflict Sensitive Reporting” at a UNDP Workshop on Conflict Sensitive, Reporting for Media Practitioners in Osun state” holding at Kakanfo Inn, Ibadan.

The University Don said there is the need for media practitioners in Nigeria to be conflict conscious in the election period considering the fact that election has turned out to become early warning of conflict in the country.

“As journalists, we must be conflict sensitive as election is approaching. We need to be sensitive of conflict that could arise from our reportage. We need to be sensitive of the inherent of conflict”, he said

Dr Animasahun maintained that the UNDP on its part ” is trying to ensure that journalists are empowered to identify what are the
opportunities in coherent conflict”.

The Don however emphasized that the time has come for media practitioners in Nigeria to “instigate conversations which will be ” near
future without been violent,”, saying, ” Journalists must practice knowledge based journalism devoid of misinformation”

Emphasized that Journalists must be the watch dog and not lap dog, and that journalists must stay away from self appraisals.

In his presentation, entitled ” Do No harm Framework for Conflict Sensitive Reporting”, Dr Austin Onuoha urged journalists against reckless reportage of election issues, but report in a manner that will not further aggravate the situation.

According to Dr Onuoha, for example if journalists should report the September 22, Osun state governorship election “in a reckless manner”, it could ” stagnate the economy and even government revenue generation”.

He then advised journalists to exercise self regulation on their reportage of election issues, saying, if you report all what you are seeing, if you do so, it will not augur well for the country”.

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