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ANOTHER MEDIA SENSITIZATION ON HATE SPEECH HELD IN PORT HARCOURT

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On October, 22, 2015, the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) Kano, with support from the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Program (NSRP), hosted the fourth of a series of media sensitization program on hate and dangerous speech workshop for journalists. This one was for journalists from the South South geopolitical zone, held in Port Harcourt.

The event which was held at the Social Development Integrated Centre in Port Harcourt was attended by journalists from various print, electronic as well as online media platforms, members of the Rivers state executive council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists as well a representative of the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Program’s Port Harcourt regional office.

The event had in attendance journalists from about 40 media organizations including the Tide newspaper, Leadership, Radio Rivers, amongst others.

 

Opening Remarks

In his welcome remarks, Adam Alqali, CITAD’s Media & Communication Associate introduced the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) to the participants describing the organization as a capacity building civil society organization whose activities covers research, advocacy, training as well as publicity in all areas of ICT.

He added that CITAD’s activities cut across various thematic areas including governance, entrepreneurship, ICT for development, community support services as well as peace campaigns, under which the hate speech monitoring and countering project falls. He stated that the project which started in January 2015 with the support of the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Program (NSRP) and MacArthur Foundation had a monitoring platform that monitors activities on Nigeria’s social media landscape (24 hours/ 7days) including in local languages.

 

1st Presentation: Understanding Dangerous and Hate Speech

In his presentation, Understanding Dangerous and Hate Speech, Abdulganiyu Rufai, CITAD’s program officer in charge of peace projects described the social media, which is a means of communication that is open to everyone, as purveyors of problems. He said the social media as a platform had security implications including being used for spreading hate and dangerous speech; being used by those recruiting youth into violent engagements; as well as its being used for identity theft and impersonation to cause confusion and defraud people

Speaking on the Benesch framework of identifying hate and dangerous speech he said the 5 factors for identifying hate speech were: the speaker and his/her influence over a given audience; a receptive audience subject to incitement by speaker; speech content understood as a call to violence; social and historical context of the speech; as well as medium of disseminating speech, including language.

He added that over the last three years, CITAD has been involved in working on social media on three different themes including social media for peace campaign; monitoring and countering of hate speech; as well as developing of cattle rustling tracking information system (catris)

 

2nd Presentation: Monitoring Hate Speech – A Synopsis of the Result

DISCUSSION

Omoni Ayo-Tamuno, Chairman, Rivers NUJ

While opening the discussion session, Omoni Ayo-Tamuno, the chairman of the Rivers State council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, who was represented by his vice chairperson, Ms Uche Abah said the NUJ was happy with the hate speech monitoring and countering initiative calling on journalists to be cautious of what they say on air/ publish and ensure they caution their guests on TV/ radio programs against disseminating hate and dangerous speeches on their media platforms.

COMMUNIQUE

At the end of the program the following resolutions were made by participants at the media sensitization program;

Observations

  • Journalists tend to use their media platforms to promote their own opinions instead of being impartial to issues which are against the ethics of the journalism profession.

  • Some TV/radio programs presenters have tendencies for trying to influence their guests into speaking in favour of their own personal opinions which is unethical.

  • Journalists’ reporting are being influenced by their biases hence the tendency to spread hate and dangerous speeches on traditional media platforms.

  • Journalists seem to underestimate the powerful influence of the media in inciting the people hence the tendency to disseminate hate and dangerous speech

  • Journalists are not equipped with conflict sensitive communication skills  which is  also responsible for hate and dangerous speech in the media



Recommendations:

 

  • Journalists should avoid publishing/broadcasting information that are libelous or seditious

  • Journalists’ reporting activities should always be guided by responsibilities to their societies, media owners and personal integrity.

  • Journalists must always adhere to the principles of responsible and ethical journalism to be able to avoid the dissemination of hate and dangerous speech

  • Journalists should always be conscious of the culture of the people of their host communities so they don’t broadcast/publish what may be misinterpreted by their audience.

  • CITAD and the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation  Program (NSRP) should organize more such sensitization programs to keep media stakeholders on their toes

  • Journalists should always be careful when it comes to their choice of words; they should know the types of words they use; how and when they use them.

  • Journalists should not align themselves with the interests of their employers (media owners) when it is again the interest of the society.

  • Journalists should not always be bugged by the fear of losing their jobs which makes it difficult for them to avoid broadcasting/ publishing hate and dangerous speech on the order of their employers as they will always get other opportunities when sacked.

  • Journalists should always apply common sense in their reportorial jobs by investigating and balancing stories before airing/publishing them.

  • Journalists should always be apolitical by being impartial about issues

  • Radio and TV presenters should regularly invite experts for discussions on hate and dangerous speech on their media platforms.

  • NUJ should join the campaign against hate and dangerous speech dissemination in the media

  • Journalists should form media coalitions against hate and dangerous speech so as to be the ones campaigning against it themselves.

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CITAD CONDUCTS MEDIA SENSITIZATION PROGRAM ON HATE & DANGEROUS SPEECH IN LAGOS FOR SOUTH WEST REGION

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On October, 20, 2015, the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) Kano, with support from the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Program (NSRP), hosted a one-day media sensitization program on hate and dangerous speech with journalists and other media stakeholders form the South West geopolitical zone in Lagos.

The event which was held at the International Press Centre (IPC) in Ogba, Ikeja was attended by amongst others, the director of the International Press Centre, chairman Lagos State council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ); the regional director (Lagos) of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC); as well as the deputy program manager of the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Program (NSRP).

The event had in attendance journalists from over 40 media organizations including Thisday, Guardian, Vanguard, Radio Nigeria, Leadership, and TV Continental, amongst others.

 

1st Presentation: Understanding Dangerous and Hate Speech

In his presentation, Understanding Dangerous and Hate Speech, Abdulganiyu Rufai, CITAD’s program officer in charge of peace projects described the social media, which is a means of communication that is open to everyone, as purveyors of problems. He said the social media as a platform had security implications including being used for spreading hate and dangerous speech; being used by those recruiting youth into violent engagements; as well as its being used for identity theft and impersonation to cause confusion and defraud people

Speaking on the Benesch framework of identifying hate and dangerous speech he said the 5 factors for identifying hate speech were: the speaker and his/her influence over a given audience; a receptive audience subject to incitement by speaker; speech content understood as a call to violence; social and historical context of the speech; as well as medium of disseminating speech, including language.

He added that over the last three years, CITAD has been involved in working on social media on three different themes including social media for peace campaign; monitoring and countering of hate speech; as well as developing of cattle rustling tracking information system (catris)

 

2nd Presentation: Hate Speech and Media Reporting

Speaking on Hate Speech and Media Monitoring, Dr Akintunde Akanni of the Department of Journalism at Lagos State University said although Nigeria’s constitution allows for free speech and the country was signatory to various international instruments on free speech, there was need for a clear line to be drawn between free speech as well as hate and dangerous speech. He called on journalists to always be conflict sensitive in their reporting and always carry out rigorous research before publishing/ broadcasting any information.



DISCUSSION

Lanre Arogundade, IPC

Speaking during the discussion session, Lanre Arogundade, the director of the International Press Centre, IPC, urged presenters of TV/ radio programs to always get in touch with law enforcement agents, media regulators to counter hate/ dangerous speeches aired on their programs. He called on CITAD to extend its monitoring of hate and dangerous speeches from social media platforms to traditional media platforms particularly vernacular radio and TV stations as well as publications.

 

Mrs Bunmi Cole, NBC

In her comments, Mrs Bunmi Cole, the Lagos regional director of the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) called on journalists to adhere to the principles of responsible journalism and abide by the guidelines of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code (NBC) which was put together by broadcasting stakeholders in Nigeria. She stated that the Nigeria Broadcasting Code was being reviewed adding that all radio and TV programs in Nigeria must adhere to the principles of quality broadcasting enshrined in it, which she said was also the primary mandate of the NBC.

 

‘Deji Elumuye, NUJ

In his comment, the chairman of the Lagos State council of the Nigeria Union Journalists (NUJ) Mr ‘Deji Elumuye called on journalists to always imbibe the principles and ethics of their profession by avoiding the dissemination of hate and dangerous speech on their radio and TV programs as well as publications. He spoke on his Council’s effort towards ensuring better welfare packages for journalists working for different media organizations in Lagos State to enhance professionalism in their work.

 

Priscilla Ankut, NSRP

While delivering the closing remarks, Ms Priscilla Ankut, the deputy programme manager of the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Program (NSRP) thanked everyone for their participation in the program describing the discussions as “frank and enthusiastic” adding that NSRP looked forward to further engagements regarding countering of hate and dangerous speech in the media with journalists in Lagos.





COMMUNIQUE

At the end of the program the following resolutions were made by participants at the media sensitization program;

 

Observations

  • There is need for a clear line to be drawn between hate and dangerous speech

  • Hate and dangerous speech tend to sell more quickly on the social media

  • There is a tendency for hate and dangerous speech disseminators who are mostly youth to leave social media platforms that have become populated by mature minds for newer social media platforms on which they continue to disseminate hate and dangerous speeches.

  • Journalists’ reporting are being influenced by their biases hence the tendency to spread hate and dangerous speeches on traditional media platforms.

  • Journalists seem to underestimate the powerful influence of the media in inciting the people hence the tendency to disseminate hate and dangerous speech

  • Journalists are not equipped with conflict sensitive communication skills  which is  also responsible for hate and dangerous speech in the media

 

Recommendations:

 

  • For Journalists to avoid hate and dangerous speeches they must learn to be above their biases and sentiments in the course of their reportorial activities

  • Journalists including radio and TV presenters should understand the power of the media in influencing people’s thinking as well as the way people react to sensitive issues.

  • Journalists must always adhere to the principles of responsible and ethical journalism to be able to avoid the dissemination of hate and dangerous speech

  • Journalists must always try to balance their reporting by embarking on research reporting

  • CITAD and the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation  Program (NSRP) should organize more such sensitization programs to keep media stakeholders on their toes

  • The NBC should continuously sensitize advertising practitioners as well as religious leaders on hate and dangerous speech

  • Journalists including TV and radio presenters should always get hate and dangerous speeches disseminated by influential speakers countered by equally influential speakers

  • Media organizations should always counter hate and dangerous speeches published/ aired on their networks.

  • Journalists including TV and radio presenters  should always get  law enforcement agents, media regulators to counter hate and dangerous speech broadcast on their platforms

  • CITAD should extend its monitoring of hate and dangerous speech to the traditional media – beyond the social media

  • Journalists including radio and TV presenters need to be trained on conflict sensitive re

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REPORT ON THE WORKSHOP ON SOCIAL MEDIA FOR PEACE ADVOCACY TRAINING FOR CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS IN ZAMFARA STATE

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By Sufyan Lawal Kabo

In addition to the previous Social Media for Peace Advocacy workshops in Kano, Bauchi, Abuja and Jigawa state, the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) with support from MacArthur Foundation conducted a one-day training on Use of Social Media for advocacy for CSOs in Zamfara state. Twenty (20) organizations attended the workshop which held at Fulbe Villa Hotel, Gusau, capital of Zamfara state on 12th of June, 2015.

The workshop was organized over the course of one day and it included combination of presentations, interactive discussions, and roundtable sessions.

The specific objectives of the workshop was:

  1. To conduct training for civil society organizations members to use social media to promote tolerance, diversity and peace in Northern Nigeria

  2. To encourage CSOs to setup social media platforms for peace campaign

  3. Develop and deploy social media platforms to be used to promote tolerance, unity in diversity and peace in Northern Nigeria

  4. Engage civil society organizations and other stakeholders to articulate alternative appropriate and effective framework for addressing the myriad of violence afflicting the country

 

Malam Musa Umar, CITAD’s Focal Point in Zamfara gave the welcome remark which he in it described the background and objectives of the workshop. He further stated that social media is a powerful and widespread communication platform for exchanging ideas and information among citizens, institutions and communities and it has presented enormous opportunities in utilizing them for peace campaign and other socio-economic development.

 

The first presentation was on Understanding Social Media facilitated by Malam Musa Umar. He described ICTs as a media shorthand for new communications technologies and can be unique in three important ways: these are Ability to transcend time and space constraints,  de-professionalization of information processing and Integration of the various forms of media into a common platform. Besides, it is a web-based and mobile technology to turn communication into an interactive dialogue.

CITAD Media Officer, Sufyan Lawal Kabo took the next paper titled Case Study which explained the myriads of unrests engulfing the northern part of Nigeria as a result of insurgency attacks. This was made to be more of an interactive session in order to gain inputs and for experience sharing among the participants. The presentation also explained the objectives, goal and methodology of the peace project initiated by CITAD.

The next item was the theoretical and practical on Use of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube apps by CITAD Peace Club Officer Malam Kamilu Isa– these include how to build friends and followers.

Other papers being presented during the workshop were: Planning Social Media for Advocacy, Using Social Media for peace campaign and Evaluating Social media campaign.   

During the group work session, the participants split in three groups and came up with some recommendations as follows:  

  • Civil societies should synergize to advocate to the legislators for network improvement by the service providers for effective social media advocacy.

  • CSOs should collaborate with media organizations/Media Houses to disseminate peace messages  

  • CSOs should try to make good use of use of social media for their activities.

  • Government should make bandwidth more affordable to citizens  

  • CSOs should work actively towards sensitizing the people at the grassroots on the use of the social media for advocacy

  • CSOs should use social media to promote peace and national unity

 

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“IT IS TIME FOR WE NIGERIANS TO USE THE SLOGAN ‘CHANGE’ TO CHANGE OUR WAYS AND LIVE IN PEACE.” - Mrs. Anne Nwadigbo, Diocesan President Catholic Women Organization, Kano Diocese

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As CITAD4Peace advocacy visits continues, on this day 5th May, 2015, a team from CITAD paid a peace advocacy visit to Mrs. Anne Nwadigbo, who is the Diocesan President, Catholic Women Organization, Kano Diocese at her office. Sufyan Lawal Kabo (CITAD Media Officer) who led the team explained the purpose of the visit which was to solicit her input in CITAD4Peace goals which include working toward the restoration of peace in the troubled northeastern region of Nigeria and the country at large. Voices of prominent religious leaders like hers he said are very important to the CITAD4Peace mission. 
Responding, Mrs. Anne Nwadigbo commended CITAD4Peace for the wonderful peace restoration effort and also hailed the idea of using social media -These she expressed would easily reach out to the main targets: the youths. She added that it is time Nigerians use the slogan ‘change’ to change their ways and live in peace. Lastly, she pledged her organization’s full support for CITAD4Peace efforts and wished it well. 
The visiting team consists of Sufyan Lawal Kabo, Khadija Isma’il and Muhammad Shazali. 
Toward ending the visit, the team handed over an advocacy kit to the cleric which includes a book titled INSURGENCY AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN NORTHERN NIGERIA, another book titled SOCIAL MEDIA PEACE CAMPAIGN and a policy brief titled RESPONDING TO THE PLIGHT OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS IN NORTHEASTERN NIGERIA.

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Advocacy Report

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In it's peace advocacy visit CITAD Bauchi visited ECWA Church Good news Azare DCC today Friday 5/6/15.

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