Executive Director of Foundation for Peace Professionals, Abdulrazaq Hamzat,in this exchange with Prime Business Africa, offers some nuggets for journalists reporting conflicts.
Executive Director of Foundation for Peace Professionals, Abdulrazaq Hamzat,in this exchange with Prime Business Africa, offers some nuggets for journalists reporting conflicts.
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5 Things Journalists Shouldn’t Do When Reporting Conflicts

2 mins read

You are a journalist probably reporting conflicts in Nigeria’s Northeast, North Central, Northwest or any part of the country. Are you in Ukraine covering the Russia onslaught or anywhere in Africa and the Middle East reporting civil unrest and other upheavals?

Below are some of the simple professional rules to follow:

Don’t write in clichés: Journalists reporting conflicts  do not need to adopt the overused terms of tragedy to report conflict in other to make the story catchy.

Don’t believe everything someone tells you under the guise of eye witness: Most narrators often do not narrate the true encounter, they simply re-echo the popular views they hear from others in the area. The opinion leaders are keen to generate interest in their perspective. They have a story to tell and they sell this perspective to the people, who then relay it to whoever they encounter.

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Don’t get things out of context: Every story has a context. Reporters should ensure to contextualize the story in line with national, regional, global or historical context.

Don’t accept information without questions: When people claim certain numbers of people have been victims, kindly ask for evidence. Do not quote a figure without an evidence to justify it. If you can’t find evidence, please don’t use it.

Don’t be led by other people’s agenda: Many conflicts are used to drive an agenda. As a journalist, do not allow any group use you to drive an agenda. Understand the issue before narrating the incident.

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In view of the above, we at the Foundation for Peace Professionals appeal most respectfully that, whenever issues of conflict, violence or peace building is to be discussed or reported on the media, media organizations should en-devour to speak with peace professionals, conflict experts or mediation specialists to put issues in proper perspectives. We are confident that such patriotic move will enrich, not reduce the quality of the reportage or analysis.

Abdulrazaq Hamzat is an Executive Director of Foundation for Peace Professionals.

Abdulrazaq Hamzat
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