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Veteran journalist advocates more training for newsmen on conflict issues

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Mr. Austin Onuoha, Consultant, Africa Centre for Corporate Responsibility on Peace Building, has called for more intensive training for journalists handling conflict issues to build their capacity in peace building.

Onuoha told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Sunday in Jos, that more training on peace building would offer the journalists a better understanding of the dynamics of peace and conflict issues.

“Journalists covering conflicts will help the efforts for peace if they understand the dynamics of violence; what they report has huge consequence on conflict situations, so they must be made to see the need to play down disagreements instead of escalating them.”

The consultant said that young journalists must be mentored to be conscious of their influence and how their choice of words could douse crisis or quench it.

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“Most journalists are unaware of their influence in the society; they need more training and exposure to raise their security consciousness,” he said.

Onuoha also recommended some internship with security agencies to give journalists some experience and boost their confidence on the field.

“We want to see proactive journalists who can think outside the box and are conflict sensitive in their reporting.

“An internship training will widen the scope of conflict reporters and broaden their horizon in the quest for a more peaceful Nigeria,” he said. (NAN)