Gabriel Udeh, Kaduna
Journalists have been advised not to take sides in reporting religious or ethnic crises but to use the mass media to promote peace and harmony among different cultural and religious pluralist society.
A Non-Governmental Organisation, Interfaith Mediation Centre, Kaduna, gave the advice in Kaduna on Tuesday at a one-day sensitization workshop on Cultural and Religious Pluralism for Media Practitioners in Kaduna.
The Coordinator, Peace Builders Nigeria, Abdulfatah Adekunle, said that the peace and stability of Nigeria lied in the hands of journalists, who are expected to promote peaceful coexistence among the people.
He identified culture, faith, and media as the basis of unrest and violence in the country and urged social media to stop promoting hatred on the basis of religion or tribe.
Adekunle urged journalists to pay more attention to issues that will promote peace, rather than divide society along religious or ethnic lines.
Pastor Joshua Pyam, Director, Monitoring, and Evaluation of the center, said the social media was being used to promote hatred, especially during crises.
He decried the level of unethical journalism practice in Nigeria, saying that journalists should abide by the ethics of their profession in managing conflict.
Also, Malam Mohammed Sufi, Director, Research and Documentation of the center, said the role of the media is important in conflict management, saying the use of language is also important and very powerful in conflict situations.
“We are going to be accountable and responsible for whatever we do.
“Media practitioners are teachers and agents of socialization even the children can learn from what they see in the media.
“Media should focus more on our similarities and not on our differences, as our rulers are using this to divide us,’’ he advised.
Participants in the workshop were selected from 18 media organizations across the state