By Frederick Peters, KADUNA.

NEWSDAILYNIGERIA: The National President of Nigeria Union Of journalists,(NUJ), Chief Chris Isiguzo, has applauded the initiative and inauguration of  Journalists For Peace, Forum in Kaduna.

The Inauguration held on wednesday at the NUJ secretariat, Kaduna attracted an array of seasoned  journalists, CSOs, NGOs, religious leaders, socio- cultural organisations, peace ambassadors and stateholders amongst others.

Isiguzo, represented by the Chairman of NUJ Kaduna, Hajia Asma’u Yawo Halilu, congratulated the initiators, adding that he hopes to interact with the forum in future.

” I want to appauld this great initiative, indeed it’s another opportunity for us to expand our horizons in this great profession of ours. 

” This group has come together to achieve a desired goal that will have great impact on us as a people and Kaduna state, considering it’s volatile nature.

” For years, journalist have reported conflict from different angles but the narrative is still the same, it’s either we are under reporting or not reporting well, hence, the birth of this group to guide us on the rudiments of conflicting reporting.

He said” As journalist covering conflict, we must always be proactive by first examining the causes of conflict, and then seek discussions about it’s solutions.

” Our stories must be seen to reflect unity rather than generating divisive tendencies among the populace.”

According to him ” The era of ‘if it bleeds it leads’ is no more the fancy of news reporting, especially in the current situation of the country. As advocates of professional peace and security journalists, it is also socially responsible to step down news capable of causing grave disaffection.

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” As peace reporters, we must always be wary of propaganda, and instead seek facts from all sources before dishing out information.

” We must all aim at correcting biases, when reporting, we all have choices on whether to douse the conflict or do otherwise which comes with damaging consequences.”

He stressed the need for ” Peace journalists must carefully choose and analyze the words they use because words used carelessly often times are inflammatory and the outcome, severe.

” Reporters must make choices that improve the prospects for peace, these choices may include how to frame stories and carefully choosing which words to be used.

 ” We must learn to create an atmosphere conducive to peace and supportive of peace initiatives and peacemakers, without compromising the basic principles of good journalism.” he added 

He said ” Soon, politicians will commence campaign in earnest and some of them will violate the electoral laws which could lead to havoc, so, as journalist, we must be careful with our coverages around their provocative statements.

” We urge us all to please tread with caution to avoid being victims of political rivalry which can land us in trouble. 

” Having said these, I will want to assure us that, as a union, we will always support this initiative by working closely to achieve the desired goal of a peaceful and secured society.” he added

Earlier, in his remarks, the Chairman of the Journalists for Peace( JFP, ) Chief Andrew Fadason, the new Galadiman Gbagi, said the essence of the initiative is to change the narrative in media reportage in the interest of the common good.

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  He said the initiative is a response to  the increasing  rate of  tensions and the need to uphold peace and unity as watch dogs of the society. 

Similarly, representatives of NGOs, CSOs and participants, while commending the initiative as timely, assured of their readiness for partnership and engagements to advance the ideals of peace in the state and country.


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