Catholic Communicators of Nigeria’s Sokoto Diocese Discuss Ethics of Reporting Violence
CANAA || By Ankeli Emmanuel, Sokoto || 16 March 2017
While many continue to decry the sharp decline of professional reportage in the country, the advent of social media is adding salt to the injuries created by lack of ethics in the media industry, Mallam Ishaq Kawu Modibo has observed.
Kawu Modibo, who is the Director General, Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) stressed that the social media has become the biggest source of inciting,unsubstantiated and insensitive reportage lately.
"The social media with all its advantages, perhaps has become the biggest source of inciting, unsubstantiated and crudely insensitive reportage against nation's and individuals".
Speaking yesterday in Sokoto on the theme, "The Nigerian Media: The Ethics of Reporting Violence in Nigeria" at the Catholic plenary for Diocesan/Religious Directors of Communication, Kawu Moddibo noted with dismay how sensational reportage continue to gain ground against laid down ethics of the profession.
Kawu Modidibo who was represented by a Director in NBC, Dr Armstrong Idachaba, a Director in his office, Kawu said the social media does not even pretend to any ethical foundations and it does not give a damn about it hence the need to investigate this disturbing trend.
While urging media practitioners to dignify their profession by adhering to its ethics, especially when reporting violence, Kawu Moddibo advised that, the sanctity of humanity must be respected at all times.
''In all, it must remember that beyond reporting, it must protect the sanctity and humanity of the Nigerian society, at all time,” he said and added, ''It must be sensitive to the national ethos and the sanctity of humanity.”
On his part, the Catholic Bishop of the Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah appealed to Journalists to consistently remain glued to honesty, patriotism and the love for peace and unity as their watchwords.
'Bishop Kukah who advised that, he has the conviction that the Church also need to hear people a little bit more, added that, the decisions journalists make can make countries to decide to go to war or not.
''Often,there is much anxiety as to how the media get their information for their reportage. Journalists must yet be respected, but they should work according to the ethics of their noble profession,'' Bishop Kukah advised.
On his part, the former Director-General of NBC, Mallam Danladi Bako cautioned people on how to ensure that they seive every bit of the information that gets to them before assimilating them.
According to him, the mischievious use and dissemination of false information without verification often time ignites not just the violence but even the spread of conflict.
'' Rumours come in here as information packaged by mischief makers. The information flow between the pre-conflict, conflict and post conflict periods are very crucial,'' Danladi Bako noted.
Giving insight into the plenary, the Social Director, Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Rev. Father Sixtus Ladi Onuh affirmed that, they would brainstorm on extant ethics of Journalism, with a view to ensuring strict adherence by all the practitioners.