December 2, 2016 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Journalists from both the print and electronic media yesterday benefited from an intensive lecture at the Bintumani International Conference Center in Freetown on the do’s and don’ts of peace journalism.
Organised by the Media Reform Coordinating Group (MRSG) in partnership with the International Peace Research Association (IPRA), the forum provided journalists with the necessary skills needed in reporting on conflict situations.
According to Scott Manga from MRCG, the training was intended to increase the knowledge of the media on peace journalism as well as enhance their skills in doing effective reporting and programming for both print and electronic.
With regards the MRCG, Mr. Manga stated that the organization’s overall aim is to strengthen democratic dialogue, consolidate peace and ensure development through professional, independent and pluralistic media.
In his presentation, Director of the Center for Global Peace Journalism, Steven Youngblood stated that peace journalism laid emphasis on exploring conflict formation as well as making it transparent.
He urged participants to avoid letting the candidates define themselves through what they say during electoral situation but rather seek expert analysis of the veracity and logic of the candidates’ comments.
Mr. Youngblood also encouraged participants to imbibe the principles of peace journalism, which are considering the consequences of reporting, carefully choosing and analysing the words used and providing depth and content rather than just superficial and sensational “blow by blow” accounts of violence and conflict, among others.
Former Chairperson of the Independent Media Commission (IMC), Bernadette Cole encouraged journalists to make good use of the knowledge gained by putting it into practice.