The Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre, has urged journalists to be professional and patriotic in reporting ongoing military operations in the country.
The Commandant of the Centre, Maj.-Gen James Ataguba, made the call when executive members of Kaduna State chapter of the NUJ Correspondents Chapel, paid him a courtesy visit on Thursday in Jaji, Kaduna State.
Ataguba said the media has the power to make or mar the society, as such should not abuse their powers through stories capable of inciting unrest in the society.
“Journalists must learn to be responsible in writing their stories.
“As the executives of the chapel, you are saddled with the responsibility of checkmating other members of the chapel on inaccurate and fairness in their story; reporters found wanting should be sanctioned by the chapel.
According to him, the media is critical to any society, as it is the voice of the voiceless.
“If one voice misleads, the nation falls; stories from the north east, sometimes when reported make one wonders if the reporter is a Nigerian.
“If your reports tend to inflame issues, then there is no sign of responsibility in it.
“Implore your professionalism as much as possible and moderate the activities of the larger press, be socially responsible in stories in order to de-escalate situations.
“Always seek clarification before sending stories which I believe will sell more, if properly clarified,’’ Ataguba advised.
He pledged to support the training of members of the chapel on conflict reporting.
“In the business of training on peacemaking, building capacity in leadership and collaboration on defence, we would support you,’’ the commandant said.
Earlier, Chairman of the Chapel, Hajia Asma’u Halilu, disclosed that the chapel had a plan to hold two major programmes for members within the year.
“We want to train our members on conflict reporting; we also intend to go to Southern Kaduna on tour to cover the reconciliation process, we are seeking for your technical support,’’ she said.
She commended the Nigerian Army on their tireless efforts towards protecting the lives of citizens.
Halilu thanked the commandant for giving them audience and promised to lead the chapel to a point worthy of emulation. (NAN)