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Kogi Guber: NGO urges journalists to uphold professional ethics

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An international Non-Governmental Organization known as ‘Search for Common Ground’ has adequately sensitized journalists on the need to uphold the ethics of the profession in the course of their duty.

This was made known at a two-day common ground Journalism training which held in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital last week.

One of the resource persons at the training who is also the project’s Media Manager, Temisan Etietsola refreshed the minds of the journalists on their civic roles, strategic communication, peace building, overview of the role of the media in conflict reporting and giving voice to the marginalized groups.

Similarly, the Media and Outreach Coordinator, Joy Baiye, and the Early Warning Coordinator, Omolola Mamedu lectured the participants on rumour management, hate speech trends, mainstream media, social media, guarantying the smooth conduct of elections and identifying threats and drivers of election violence, dealing with them amongst others.

The training which was facilitated by, the State Project Coordinator, Mrs Gift Omoniwa and her crew had thirty (30) selected journalists across the various media outlets in the State as participants.

In her remarks, Mrs Omoniwa said the objective of the programme was to mainstream conflict sensitivity in media reportage, support journalists to constructively report on the elections without contributing to the drivers of electoral violence and to equally agree on modalities for commemorating the State Media Peace Day ahead of the elections.

According to her, ‘Search for Common Ground’ launched its programs in Nigeria in 2004, with its offices in Abuja, Jos, Maiduguri, Yola, Damaturu and Warri, saying that the team work with partners in target states of the country to support peaceful resolution of conflicts.

“Search has established a permanent presence in Abuja as an operational base and all our Nigeria offices are currently supporting a host of programs with activities that include capacity building, dialogues, peace architecture, media programming, participatory theatre and collaborative joint activities. Each program is adapted to specific local context and conflicts, applying common ground tools from our toolbox,” she further explained.

She opined that project’s intervention in Kogi State was to contribute to Increased Participation by Marginalized Groups in Nigerian Political Processes and special focus on Violence Mitigation for the 2019 Off- Cycle Governorship Polls scheduled for November in Kogi and Bayelsa States respectively.

Highlights of the training were presentations and brainstorming sessions on the topics reviewed, ranging from media in conflict reporting, mainstream media, hate speech trends, development of peace messages, early warning towards preventing electoral violence and building media synergies and others.

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