EXECUTIVE Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, has charged editors and media managers in the country to play a greater mediatory role by utilizing the media to promote peace despite the deteriorating security situation in the nation.
According to Danbatta, though the media is one of the most notable institutions for the promotion of democratic values, insinuations in some quarters are that it is amplifying conflict in some instances, thereby making it difficult to manage the crisis.
The Executive Vice Chairman, who spoke at the 17th All Editors’ Conference, 2021, held in Abuja on Thursday, with the theme: “Media in Times of Crisis : Rising Crisis, Achieving Consensus”, urged the professionals to be effectively trained on specialized reporting areas such as conflict reporting on a continuous basis, adding that this would improve expertise in crisis reporting.
Danbatta said one of the commission’s efforts by the government, the media and other stakeholders in addressing crisis situations or emergencies in Nigeria is the 112 emergency number managed by NCC’s Emergency Communication Centre (ECC), established across the country.
The NCC boss said: “I urge the editors and media managers to play a greater role by entrenching a peace media system, and building a culture of peace in today’s conflict-ridden world “.
In times of crisis, a lot of people look up to the media to provide vital information that will help them in making informed decisions that create stability in emotional management, rather than take actions that result in pandemonium “.
“Effective training of media professionals on specialized reporting areas such as conflict /crisis reporting on a continuous basis is also strongly recommended.
“At NCC, we will also continue our collaboration with the media in many fronts towards creating an environment where they seamlessly leverage digital infrastructure to improve on news gathering, processing and disseminating activities in order to inform and educate the citizens on happenings around them timely, accurately, and adequately”, Danbatta said.
Earlier, Mr. Mustapha Isah, National President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), had called on the country’s media to minimize the rate at which they publish the activities of terrorists and bandits.
He said the conference was a way for editors to come together and liaise with relevant stakeholders to discuss national issues with a view to preferring solutions.
At the same event, the Inspector -General of Police, represented by the Force Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) at the Force Headquarters, Frank Mba, urged the media to explore more avenues of collaborating with the police in the area of national development and management.
Dr. Peter Afunanya of the Directorate of State Services (DSS), also said the media would set the agenda and define the affairs of national unity and loyalty. He added that as such, the media should rethink and ensure that they are part of Nigeria’s lasting peace.
Afunanya said the media should not let sentiments play a role in churning out content.