From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
Journalists have been reminded of the need to work within the code of conduct guiding the practice of their profession.
This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a 3-day-workshop on Conflict Sensitivity Reporting organized by the ActionAid Nigeria for 30 journalists from Kogi state held at Kini Country Guest In, Akwanga, Nasarawa State over the weekend.
The communique urged journalists that they must strive to ensure fairness, balance and objective reportage at all times as well as expand their scope of reporting to properly frame the issues for balanced coverage.
The communiqué also enjoined journalists not to take stories out of context and to be sensitive to peace building process in their reportage and programmes stressing that emphasis must be placed on facts over and above value reportage.
It de-emphasized the promotion of hate speeches in their report and not dwell on recounting bitter experience of traumatized survivors to ensure their safety in the process of covering conflict zones.
The communique equally advised journalists to ensure that they are dispassionate while interviewing survivors and take time out to seek professional assistance if traumatized in the process of reporting.
It further advocated that journalists must adhere to ethical standards and NUJ code of practice and not allow themselves to be manipulated by actors in a conflict situation as well as not allowing their perception and opinions affect their reportage on conflicts.
It also cautioned journalists to desist from the use of languages that reinforces traumatic experiences of survivors and to be wary of the impact of promoting violence that can impact negatively on their audience or readers.
The communique also urged journalists to always ensure that the voice of everyone in a conflict situation is heard in their programmes and reportage as well as be wary of the tone /pictures used in their reportage in order not to aggravate the conflict.
Participants also emphasized the need for media owners/managers to adequately equip their organizations as well as provide necessary tools and incentives to enhance the productivity of reporters as it concerns conflict reportage.