ActionAid restates commitment to empower journalists towards PVE

From Esther Akaa, Lafia

A Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) says it would continue to train and retrain journalists in order to keep them abreast with current trends in journalism, aimed at Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE).

Director, Organisational Effectiveness, AAN, Mrs Funmilayo Oyefusi stated this on Wednesday at a 2-day Media  Master Class training organised for selected journalists in Nasarawa and Kogi states, held at Kini Country Guest Inn, Akwanga Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.

The Media Master class with the theme: Policy Engagement for Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) and post COVID-19 in Nasarawa and Kogi states is funded by the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) aimed at exposing journalists to new skills and competence in reporting PVE.

According to her, AAN has so far trained 500 media practitioners on conflict sensitivity reportage as a way of curbing violence in communities over the years.

She called on journalists to use the  opportunity and learn new skills on contemporary story ideas that will impact on lives of the citizens and use  budget tracking to engage policy makers on the need to do more for the people.

“Everything you see is a potential story which is essential for the public to know. I therefore, enjoin you to take  the training seriously to gain knowledge that will help in addressing violent extremism,” she said.

In a paper presentation entitled: Preventing Violent Extremism & Peace Building through 2021 Budget Tracking and Monitoring in Nasarawa and Kogi States, a Research Fellow/Economist, National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Dr Terfa Abraham, stressed the need for government at all levels to allocate budget that would address violent extremism.

He called on journalists to ensure that they report beyond the normal news by tracking every government’s budgets in order to make it meet the developmental needs of the people.

In their separate presentations, Dean, School of Information and Communication Technology, Federal Univesity of Technology, Minna, Prof. Nicholas Iwokwagh and Deputy Head, Investigations, Premium Times, Mojeed Alabi, urged journalists to be critical in reporting sensitive stories and not to fuel crisis as means of reducing violent extremism in the two states and the country at large.

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