The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of Media Trust Group, Daily Trust Foundation, in collaboration with the City University of London, United Kingdom, on Thursday, trained conflict reporters across various media organizations in the country in safety in the line of duty.
Speaking during the opening session of the training, the Chairman of Daily Trust Foundation, Alhaji Bilya Bala, emphasized the need for constant training of journalists with a view to meeting up the current and emerging challenges in the country and within the media space.
Bala, who was represented by a former Editor-in-Chief of Daily Trust, Malam Mannir Dan-Ali, cautioned defence and security reporters covering conflicts in different zones to take safety a priority before pursuing stories.
Dan-Ali said, “We have all passed through the universities or polytechnics; we’ve been trained. Of course, we have got some knowledge, but we read to pass exams; not necessarily to apply it. This refresher training is actually to remind all of us that this is how it ought to be.
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“You know Nigeria is full of conflicts, likewise many other societies of different nations. We are even lucky in Nigeria today that conflict reporting or general reporting does not consume as many lives as it does in many other nations.”
On his part, the Director of the PhD. Programme at the Department of Journalism, City University of London, Dr. Tasiu Abdullahi, appealed to media organizations in Nigeria to consider protecting their journalists with the necessary equipment.
Abdullahi, while taking the participants through the training topic: “Safety of Journalists in Conflict Reporting”, listed some equipment that should be provided to photo-journalists, videographers, and reporters covering protests and riots as stab vests (bullet-proof vests), helmets and gas masks.
In the same vein, the Programme Manager of the foundation and lead discussant, Dr. Theophilus Abbah, urged the government to take the safety of Nigerian journalists a priority so as to perform their functions diligently as enshrined in the constitution.