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USAID State 2 State Trains Journalists, Spokespersons on Conflict Sensitivity

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By Bashir Hassan Abubakar

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded activity titled “State Accountability ,Transparency and Effectiveness (State2State) has organised a three days capacity training workshop on conflict sensitivity for journalists and spokespersons in Bauchi.

Speaking shortly before the commencement of the workshop which held at Hazibal Hotel Conference Hall in the State capital, Conflict Specialist from the USAID State 2 State field office Bauchi, Mathias Yake said that the objective of the training was to enhance the understanding of participants on the concept of Conflict, Gender and Social Inclusion.

Yake said that the training will also seek to deepen understanding of participants on the role of media in a conflict environment.

Another key objective according to Yake, is to empower the participants with practical tools to report conflict in a professional manner without aggravating it, as well as applying the “do no harm principles” in reporting.

Areas expected to be covered during the training includes: Understanding Contexts and Conflict Issues, Understanding the Principles of Conflict Sensitivity and also Mainstreaming Gender and Social Inclusion in Conflict Sensitivity.

“Other areas will focus on the role of media in resolving and escalating conflict or otherwise”, said Yake.

Speaking to our correspondent in an interview during the workshop, Chairman of the Bauchi State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Comrade Umar Sa’idu said that the training was timely, especially looking at the roles journalists play in dousing tension through their reportage during conflict situations.

“As journalists, our roles is to always try and deescalate conflict and preach the gospel of peace, unity and development in our society”.

“The information journalists disseminate can have a negative impact in managing conflict and also aggravate it. We are duty bound to report issues in a subtle manner that can bring about social harmony as a corporate social responsibility”, Comrade Sa’idu said.

The Chairman, who was also a participant, called on beneficiaries of the training to avail themselves the opportunity the workshop offers to further build their capacity for enhanced performance.

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Also, while sharing his expected take away at the end of the training, the State Chairman of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Bauchi Chapter, Mallam Kabir Ali Kobi said that his expectation at the end of the training is “to get to know the basic knowledge and rudiments of reporting conflict related issues ,especially as it affects vulnerable target groups like women, children and the aged”.

The workshop attracted media practitioners from the print , electronic, public relations officers and information Directors from Bauchi State MDAs.

Our correspondent reports that USAID funded State 2 State Activity is a Five Year intervention (2020 -2025) seeking to increase accountability, transparency and effectiveness in governance and is being implemented in Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Gombe and Sokoto States.

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