Rivers NUJ enjoins journalists to stop promoting conflict actors

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By Brave Dickson

The Rivers State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) has enjoined journalists in the state to desist from using their reports to promote conflict actors, adding that such practice will breed crises and underdeveloped the state.

In a chat with our correspondent, the state Secretary of NUJ, Mr Ike Wigodo stressed the need for journalists to focus more on reports that would enhance development rather than crises.

He said: “Our reports have the powers to build our society or burn it down.

“We are not saying that journalists should not report facts but they should be careful not to overblow issues that will cause crises.

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“When the militancy started, the level of sensational stories that journalists carried, made the boys increase their level of violence in the Niger Delta region.

“And today, the region is going down every second as investors are not forthcoming.

“So, I encourage my media colleagues to improve on developmental journalism rather than causing more crises via the way they report sensational stories.

“We are not saying that journalists should not report corruption but should be careful not to cause crises with our reports.

“We should desist from using the media to give prominence to conflict actors because it will end up making them recognized and become rich overnight.

“When those ex-militants were saying that their agitation was for the people and the region, I never believe it because I know they were looking for government recognition.

“And today, the level of publicity that the media gave them has given them an edge as war-lords which the young ones are now emulating at the detriment of our region.”