The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has called on media practitioners to show more commitment to the coverage and reporting of conflictsensitive issues in Nigeria.
According to the Centre, the coverage of such incidence in the country will help in sending early warning signals that would serve as conflict prediction and early response mechanisms that would further help to prevent conflict in the country.
Speaking at a oneday training for journalists organised as part of efforts to strengthen capacity, advocacy, accountability and local engagement towards developing early warning and early response mechanisms to enhance the protection of civilians in Nigeria, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, executive director of CISLAC, said that without the commitment of the media to conflictsensitive reportage, the Early Warning Early Response (EWER) system cannot be effective.
He described the media as the mouthpiece of the civilian populace and information provider to the public.
Early Warning Early Response systems are built to allow for trained community observers to carefully observe their environment and report indicators of conflict to community response networks who in turn are expected to apply professionalism in processing information provided and respond accordingly with an aim to deescalate potential crises, Rafsanjani said.
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He called on the media to support the activities of Early Warning Community Observers who have been trained to monitor and report Early Warning threat signals by amplifying threats signals, which will spur security operatives to respond speedily and with professionalism.
We, therefore, call on the media to collaborate with CISLAC to improve the protection of civilians in Lagos State and in Nigeria through objective and conflictsensitive reporting, he said.
Commenting on the training, Rafsanjani said under the project, CISLAC will be complementing the role of internal security agencies by building wellinformed and vibrant Early Warning Community Observers in Lagos State, which will be representing the SouthWest.
This, he said, will enhance collaboration, build trust and ownership with state security institutions, community leaders and community security structures, using the Early Warning Early Response system as a vehicle, to prevent threats of conflict from escalating.
In his presentation on The Role of Media in Building Effective Early Warning and Early Response Mechanism for Community Conflict Sensitive and Objective Reportage, Ikem Ikuhu, CEO of BRANDish media, told participants to look at coping mechanisms, especially the mitigation and adaptation plans that are in place to overcome the challenges of conflict.