The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Gabriel Abayomi Olonisakin has called on media practitioners in the country especially those covering Defence and security related activities to be guided by national interest in reporting military operations against insurgents and terrorists.
General Olonisakin gave the advise on Thursday at a one day seminar organized for Defence Correspondents towards ensuring a synergized working relationship between the armed forces and the nedia.
While noting that the theme of the seminar “Enhancing National Security and Cohesion through Responsive Media Reportage” was relevant at this period of national security threats, the CDS urged the media to see itself as important partners in solving the current security challenges facing the country.
He said media practitioners should shun bias and report conflict issues with all sense of professionalism noting that in this age of social media, the failure or success of military operations in fight against terrorists should derive a great deal of support from the media.
His words, “The ongoing operation against terrorism demand we engage in cordial relationship with the media because in terms of crisis, the major effort of the press should be geared towards serving national course.
” I want to urge the media to stop glorifying or giving undue publicity to criminal elements terrorising the country”.
The CDS also stated that the military while providing support for the police has recorded significant success in containing criminal activities in the six geo-political zones of the nation.
In his address, the Director General of National Orientation Agency (NOA) Dr. Garba Abari urged citizens of the country particularly the media to recognise the need for national cohesion to drive economic development.
He frowned at a situation where some media organisations are only driven by profit motive while reporting security issues without putting the nation first.
He called for regulation of the social media space to curtail the spread of fake news.
On his part, the Dean, Postgraduate School at National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Samaila Mande in his presentation, challenged journalists to master the art of investigating sources of stories before informing the public.
Mr. Cosmos Eze, a lecturer of Mass Communication, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, emphasized the importance of synergy between the military and media to avoid any form of division in the country.
Welcoming participants, the Acting Director of Defence Information, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu stated that the need to build the capacity of journalists covering security and defence beats for positive image management of the Defence and security architecture of the country can not be over emphasized.
The seminar brought together all the spokespersons of security and response agencies, including The Nigerian Army, Navy, NAF, DSS, Customs, Immigrations, NSCDC, FRSC, Prisons, etc as well as friends of the Military and the Nigerian media.
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