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PICTURES FROM THE TRAINING OF PRINT, ELECTRONIC AND ONLINE MEDIA ON CONFLICT REPORTING

Pictures from the training of Print, Electronic and Online media on conflict reporting organised by Journalists for Democratic Rights, (JODER) with the support of Institute of International Education, (IIE) and Ford Foundation, West Africa Regional Office held in Lagos on September 16, 2019.

Group photograph of participants with the Guest Speaker, Chairman Nigerian Union of Journalist Lagos State, NUJ, at the media training held in Lagos.

 

L – R; Kudu Abubakar, Vice President, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Chairman Guild of Editors, Dotun Oladipo, Former Editor Vanguard Newspaper, Mr. Chris Nderibe and Director Of News TVC, Babajide Otitoju at the training.

Participants receiving their certificate after the training

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COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE MEDIA TRAINING SESSION

Communique issued at the end of the Media  Training session on the theme Engaging the Media and Community Based Organisations, (CBOs) for Post Election Reconciliation with Focus on Training of Print, Electronic and Online Media Actors on Reporting for Peace Building and Conflict Prevention organized by the Journalists for Democratic Rights, (JODER) with the support of the Institute of International Education, (IIE) and the Ford Foundation, (West Africa) sub region) held in Lagos on Monday, September 16, 2019

Background

Nigeria is a key player in regional political economy. The country is home to some 180 million people of diverse ethnic and religious configuration. Apart from her strategic importance in Africa, socio-political developments in Nigeria have far reaching consequences in the West African sub-region which is home to some 360million people.

Nigeria returned to democracy after 27 years of military rule. Though the country has gained momentum since the new dawn, many dark areas remain. Some of the major problems facing Nigeria at the moment are the unceasing cases of violent conflict which appear to have become a pattern since the country’s 1960 independence, historically more pronounced after national elections.

Nigeria is also confronted by corruption, poverty, hunger, ethnic divisions, religious intolerance, a new wave of self-determination movements, violent crimes, kidnapping and banditry.

Consequently, there has been an increased rate of violent deaths in Nigeria while threats of greater ethnic or religious conflict now and in the nearest future are real.

Resource persons and Target Audience

The training was attended by 30 media practitioners from the print, electronic and online media including the Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, (Lagos State) Dr Qasim Akinreti, Chairman, of Guild of Online Publishers, Mr Dotun Oladipo, Director of News, TV continental, Mr Babajide Kolade-Otitoju, representatives of the Nigerian Television Authority, (NTA), the Lagos Television Station, (LTV), and 27 trainees.

Deliberations on the Role of the media

In the past, Nigerians have seen the media contribute to shaping the future of the country and defining public perception of political and economic events.

While making profound contributions to nation building, a section of the media have consistently taken partisan positions and in some instances out rightly fueling intolerance and hate.

The advent of the social media has opened up a new highway of information to different layers of people, providing multiple sources for Nigerians to access information. There have been instances when this advantage has been abused by media users.

The mushrooming of various information outlets has seen the emergence of dedicated propaganda outfits especially in the social media with the potential of broadening the prospect of conflict in Nigeria.

In all of this, the media has a critical role to play in setting agenda for peace and conflict prevention.

Deliberations on the State of the Nation

Whereas, participants know that Nigeria is a potentially great country with her huge human and material resource base;

Whereas Nigeria has a rich and amazing ethnic, cultural and religious diversity that should be a source of strength to Nigeria;

Whereas freedom of expression is one of the major pillars of democracy;

Whereas In Nigeria, the freedom of expression is protected by section 39 (1) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria constitution. The freedom of speech provision in section 39(1) of the constitution provides that―every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference’

Conscious of several relevant local and global efforts like the Windhoek Declaration  and its statement of press freedom  principles by African newspaper journalists in 1991, a declaration produced at a UNESCO seminar, “Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press,” held in Windhoek the capital of Namibia from 29 April to 3 May 1991.

Reaffirming the commitment undertaken in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to protect everyone’s freedom of opinion and expression and to create the conditions for its effective exercise;

Knowing that Nigeria has recently been confronted by multiple crises that has taken violent dimension in many parts of the country to the extent that such has become a source of deep concern to local and international community;

Whereas, Nigeria is facing the challenge of community and national identities which are being expressed in violent and virulent manners;

Whereas the situation in the country calls for a new mass communication consciousness to address the divisions along primordial differences which affect the prospect of sustainable economic and political development;

Realising that the Nigerian media has a long history of positive intervention beginning from 1859 when the first newspaper, Iwe Irohin Yoruba was published;

Whereas, the media has blossomed in recent times with new frontiers and countless outlets for public expression and that while this has added value to public information access, it has also brought in its wake challenges of dealing with deliberate misinformation and propaganda aimed at stifling the country and even promoting hate and malice;

That the new media has also offered the opportunity for people to express themselves and distribute information either raw or processed to the teeming population of Nigerians;

Whereas, the participants admitted the obvious setbacks in the form of sensationalism, stereotyping, ethnic profiling, and outright promotion of propaganda materials by a section of the media.

Whereas the media has a very important role to play in setting agenda of peace and conflict prevention in reporting the various forms of conflict across the country;

Realising that capacity building of media practitioners is crucial to the need for a constructive engagement of critical issues by the media in Nigeria towards developing a national peace and conflict prevention agenda for the country;

Whereas the training exposed the media to real situations in Nigeria, pointing out the strength and weaknesses of the mainstream media and citizenship information outlets;

Participants admitted the need to strengthen the role of the social media in promoting greater awareness, increasing the potential of greater participation in socio-political affairs and also helping the citizens to reach out and defeat the emerging culture of violence;

Participants noted the dangers associated with such a trend and the possibility of such endangering the future of peace building in Nigeria as a whole;

 

After the one day training and exhaustive deliberations, media practitioners make the following resolutions:

  • Media practitioners will work towards the promotion of the utilitarian value of the people of Nigeria by promoting peaceful co-existence and sustainable livelihood.
  • The Nigerian Union of Journalists, (NUJ) is encouraged to intensify its campaign for professionalism and ethics in the media which will enhance greater responsibility on the part of media practitioners
  • The newsrooms and media organisations through its network will organize periodic training for its members on best practices towards crisis prevention in Nigeria
  • Journalists in the mainstream media and online platforms will henceforth ensure greater professionalism which is in the interest of the media profession and the people of Nigeria.
  • The State and Federal authorities should ensure greater access to information through honouring of the Freedom of Information Act 2014.
  • Government and corporate institutions should see the media as partners and therefore provide necessary information that can help the people and the society at large, and such should be provided promptly too. In this respect participants frown at the recent attacks on citizen media by the Nigerian authorities which has led to the arrest and detention of a couple of media practitioners. Participants call for the immediate release of all journalists currently being detained by the Government or that they should be taken to the law court
  • Participants agree to work together to ensure the success of the National Working Group on Peace Building and Conflict Prevention set up by JODER with the support of the Institute of International Education and Ford Foundation, West Africa Regional Office
  • Participants agree to reframe from ethnic or religious profiling in their reporting but rather will set agenda for conflict resolution and the avoidance of sentiments, prejudices, hasty generalization, profiling and stigmatization.
  • Journalists hereby commit themselves to publishing stories that promote national unity, defend human rights, sustain democracy, peace and conflict prevention.
  • Objectivity, balancing of stories and being fair to both sides of the party shall be the guiding principle in reporting social, political and economic issues.
  • Participants request for more frequent meetings and training for stakeholders realizing how useful and impactful the one day training had been.
  • The participants express full appreciation to Journalists for Democratic Rights, (JODER) and the supporters of the project, the Institute for International Education, (IIE) and the Ford Foundation, (West Africa sub region) for the opportunities offered and the knowledge shared during the training.

 

SIGNED

Dr Qasim Akinreti

Chairman, Nigerian Union of Journalists, (NUJ)

Mr Dotun Oladipo

Chairman, Guild of Nigerian Online Editors

Adewale Adeoye

Executive Director, JODER

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JODER STAFF AT FORD FOUNDATION

Third Left Miss Abass, a Joder staff, at Ford Foundation,with members of the Walter-Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative(CYFI) 4th Edition held on the 15th of August,2019.

Miss Abass, a Joder staff, with  some casts at Terra Culture, Victoria Island for the theater performance ( Wakaa The Musical) organized by Ford foundation.

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EVENTS AT THE SUMMIT ON ENGAGING THE MEDIA AND COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANISATIONS, (CBOs) FOR POST ELECTION RECONCILIATION AND CONFLICT PREVENTION IN LAGOS STATE.

L – R: Guest Speaker, Prof. Banji Akintoye; Journalists for Democratic Rights, JODER, Executive Director, Adewale Adeoye, Dim Uche Okwukwu, Secretary General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Alhaji Jubril Mogaji Dogo, Leader Nupe Community Lagos State at the
opening event marking series of activities on the project Engaging The Media and Community-Based Organisations, (CBOs) for Post Election Reconciliation and Conflict Prevention in Lagos State with the support of Institute of International Education, (IIE) held in Lagos, on July 30, 2019.

L – R: The Sarkin Fulani of Abbattoir Lagos, Alhaji Bello Dan Mubaffa, Leader, Supreme Egbesu Assembly, Chief Digifa Werinipre, Guest Speaker, Prof. Banji Akintoye, Executive Director, JODER, Adewale Adeoye, Secretary General Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dim Uche Okwukwu, Leader Nupe Community, Alhaji Jubril Mogaji Dogo, Representative Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos State, Pastor Joe Ihitegbulem, Jp at the summit on July 30, 2019.

A cross section of participants and Special Guests at the summit.

A cross section of participants and Special Guests at the summit

L – R: Leader, Shua Arabs Lagos, Sultan Isa Saeed, Leader, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, (MACBAN), Alhaji Abdullahi Lailiega and Sarkin Fulani of Abbatoir Lagos, Alhaji Bello Dan Mufafa at the summit.

L – R: Publisher Sahara Reporters, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, Participant at the training, Mr. Benjamin Offeh and JODER ED, Mr. Adewale Adeoye at the summit.

A cross section of participants during the training at the summit

Participants receiving training modalities from the facilitator using the training manual.

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JODER FACILITATE THE FIRST EVER INDIGENOUS CONFERENCE

by Samuel Adeshola

Members of JODER including the ED, Adewale Adeoye help to facilitate the first ever indigenous conference of the Southern Nigeria and Middle Belt forum.

The organisation which had over 500 indigenous groups come together and speak with a voice in an historic conference held at 25, Fajuyi Way, GRA, c/o Falana and Falana Chambers on Thursday March 29, 2018.

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PICTURES OF THE INTERACTIVE SESSION ON DIVERSITY REPORTING

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L – R: Popoola Ajayi, Member Lagos State Security Trust Fund; Adewale Adeoye JODER, ED; Taiwo Adeleye; Tunde Abatan, Former Deputy Editor, Daily Times News paper and Adeola Soetan at the Interactive session on Diversity Reporting for Journalists and Civil Society organised by JODER at JODER’s Secretariat.

 

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Participants at the Interactive Session for Journalists and Civil Society.

 

DSC02697Participant asking questions at the Interactive session

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COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE REPORTING DIVERSITY TRAINING

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE MEDIA INTERACTION-TRAINING ON DIVERSITY REPORTING ORGANISED BY THE JOURNALISTS FOR DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS, (JODER), THE INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION, (IIE) AND THE FORD FOUNDATION, WEST AFRICA REGION HELD AT M SQARE HOTEL, LAGOS ON AUGUST 23, 2017

INTRODUCTION

Participants at the Training for Nigerian Print and Electronic Media on Reporting Conflict and Diversity in A Plural Society, were drawn from the print and electronic media, professional media organisations, Civil Society,Nigerian Union of Journalists, the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation, (NBC) and other media-driven organisations across the country.

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Participants observe that the media has a very important role to play in the transformation of any given society. The media as the Fourth Estate of the Realm has a very significant role to play in nation building and sustainable development. The Nigerian media has played this critical role since 1859 when the first newspaper was published in the country in the local language of the indigenous people.

Throughout the history of Nigeria, since the pre-colonial, indigenous peoples had employed mass communication as a veritable tool in building the gap between the people and their leaders. The media, from the primordial times, either traditional or modern media performed profound functions in shaping the destiny of the country.

That in Nigeria, the media for instance played a very significant role in the campaign for independence against colonial rule and was also in the forefront in the campaign against despotic military rulers that seized the country for 27 odd years.

OBSERVATIONS

  • That since Nigeria returned to civilian rule in 1999, democracy has brought changes and greater access of the ordinary man to power. Nigeria has also seen the mushrooming of several media organisations and a blossoming private investment in electronic media never before seen.
  • That why democracy has brought improved human rights conditions, skybound economic and other social opportunities,the gains are dimmed by the challenge of weak institutions complicated by the hydra-headed problem of corruption and bad leadership.
  • That in spite of the advancement recorded owing to democratic reforms, the challenges of good governance and participatory democracy remain. Poverty and corruption stand out as major obstacles to development while national inspirational leadership continues to elude the country.
  • Though the national elections of 2015 brought in a new set of political interests, expectations are far from being met. The country remains divided along ethnic and religious fault lines. Terrorism plagues the country. In recent months, Nigeria has become a killing field orchestrated either through violent extremism or social crimes perpetrated against the people in the society they are bound to live.
  • Worst still, the past few months have seen resurgence of hate speeches, deepening mutual distrust in the face of not-so-promising responses from authorities to meet the anxious expectations of a despairing population.
  • That since 2009, when violent extremists launched offensive against the state, now fewer than 8000 people have been killed. More than 85 children have been employed as suicide bombers by extremist groups in the North East area of the country, more than 1 million people have been displaced from their homes, why the number of Internally Displaced Persons, (IDP) has entered seven digits.
  • In the face of this, poor policies, corruption and ineptitude hunt Africa’s most populous country leading to millions of jobless, desperate and hopeless youth population. The country is also bedeviled by the proliferation of illicit weapons which threaten regional security.
  • That one important way of responding to the challenge is for the media to strengthen the culture of public debate, deepen dialogue and discussions and provide greater spaces for the complex shades of opinions to air their views, to express their fears, aspirations and expectations.In this mismatch of a complex hurdle, the media has a very important role to play in reverting the country’s floundering fortunes.
  • Diversity reporting is an important aspect of strategic intervention that will ensure the divergent interests have equitable access to the media, that the media also provide the necessary spaces considering the plural nature of the Nigerian society with over 250 ethnic groups and home to a rainbow cultures and values.That the Media and Diversity Project will go a long way in assisting the media in terms of acquisition of modern techniques in reporting diversity, help address the fears of marginalized groups and better place the media in a strategic location to be able to promote greater public participation in governance and enhance greater government obligations to the public. After the extensive training, interactions, debate and sharing of experiences, the participants make the following resolutions.

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RESOLUTION

  • Participants benefited immensely from the project which was timely in the context of the socio-political developments in Nigeria especially the renewed threat to the unity of the country considering its implications for regional and global security. Participants admit that the importance of diversity reporting as a key element in effective media engagement of the various interests in Nigeria for sustainable livelihood of the people.
  • Participants listed major areas of diversity in Nigeria to include language, culture, religion, corruption, indigenous issues, ethnic minorities, environmental changes, poverty, exclusion, language, culture and the political economy.

 

  • That participants will double their responsibilities so as to preserve the principles of democracy by promoting equitable access to media by vulnerable groups like women, the poor, the physically challenged and other less endowed social formations and communities.
  • Participants agree to create an effective platform to promote discussions and interaction on issues of diversity reporting in the Nigerian print and electronic media.
  • Participants agree to work together to engage the National Assembly and other democratic institutions in the country in order to ensure the rights of journalists and Nigerians to free speech are not impugned or destroyed by any legislation that may tend to undermine democracy.
  • Participating journalists agree to give greater spaces to marginalised peoples like ethnic minorities and to promote their culture, their values, their heritage as a practical way to deepen democratic culture and promote diversity reporting in Nigeria.
  • Participants recognise the renewed upsurge in ethnic self-determination across the country and urge the government and all other stakeholders to employ peaceful means in addressing the challenges instead of employing violence or extreme measures outside the constitutional provisions in the country. Participants resolve to set a national agenda for dialogue and peaceful resolution of contending issues in the country.
  • Participants observe that poverty, corruption, social and economic exclusion are clear dangers to democracy and that journalists must take active parts in promoting the campaign against corruption as part of social responsibility in diversity reporting for the greater good of the society.
  • Journalists regret the lack of capacity building for media practitioners especially in the context of diversity reporting, the decline in training in the newsrooms and the decreasing in the quality of news content arising from lack of diversity reporting which continue to promote narrow prisms in the media to the detriment of the greater society.
  • Participants urge media owners to invest more in human capital development as this is necessary to assist journalists to discharge their duties more effectively in diversity reporting.
  • Participants view with great concern the inadequate payment of salary by media organisations adding that the trend has become so worrisome to the extent that many media organisations owe up to 10 to 12 months of salary in arreas.Participants note that this development has the potential of reducing the quality of media practice as the industry faces brain drain owing to the increasing poor conditions of service in many of the media institutions.
  • Participants express profound appreciation to the International Institute for Education, (IIE), the Ford Foundation, West Africa Region and the Journalists for Democratic Rights, (JODER) for the opportunity given to journalists for the training.

 

SIGNED

AUGUST 23, 2017

 

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