Friday, 17 November 2017

Group seeks government partnership to train journalists on peace reporting

By Okechukwu Onuegbu
The Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), a federal government research and training agency, has solicited for the corroboration of Anambra State government to train journalists and other media practitioners on what it termed conflict sensitive reporting.
IPCR Director General, Professor Oshita Osang Oshita, who made the call in a press briefing during their advocacy visit to Anambra state ahead of the state November 18 governorship election, explained that knowledge of peace journalism and conflict-sensitive reporting was needed for accurate and objective reporting before, during and after elections.
Oshita, who added that the training would enable the media to educate, sensitize and mobilise the masses for nation building far beyond imagination, noted that the institute was established in February, 2000 by the federal government as “the apex think-tank, research and intervention agency on issues of peace-building, conflict prevention, management and resolution”.
According to him, “The institute also intervenes in designing measures to guide government policies and response strategies towards a more peaceful; society. This is why the media will continue to remain our strategic partner in the efforts to entrench the ideals of tolerance, dialogue and peaceful coexistence.
“Information we know is central in all human activities and because of this, the role of the media remains critical. The way and manner the media reports events of election before, during and even after the election could make or mar the entire process of the leadership transition”.
He, however, commended the media in the state for objective reportage throughout the period of 2017 gubernatorial electioneering campaign, even as he urged them to sustain the tempo during and after the poll “as constructive public communication strategy” would help in uniting the country to meet the target of building huge diversity .
The Director General further appealed to the electorates and contestants on the election to shun acts of violence and other engagements capable of undermining the electoral and democratic processes.
“The contest for power through elections must not be allowed to disrupt the peace of the community. Peace is intangible and expensive; therefore nothing should be allowed to disrupt the existing peace in Anambra state on accounts of elections.
“As law abiding people, we all have a duty to embrace dialogue and respect our judicial processes in resolving conflicts. We must as media practitioners recognize that conflicts are inevitable but that we can work together to prevent violent conflicts. Grievances must not be allowed to become dysfunctional as to cause social disorder” he maintained.       



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