Banditry: Gov Matawalle cautions journalists on crisis reporting

The governor says releasing unverified information to the public would jeopardise the fight against banditry and kidnapping in Zamfara state.

Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara state. [Twitter/@Bellomatawalle1]

Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara, on Friday in Gusau, cautioned journalists against reeling out unverified information on the security situation in the state.

The governor specifically cautioned journalists, especially social media influencers, against reeling out unverified figures and sensitive information, capable of fueling the already tensed situation in the state.

Matawalle spoke at the close of a two-day training of 200 journalists in the state on objectively reporting the fight against insecurity in the state.

He said releasing unverified information to the public would jeopardise the fight against banditry and kidnapping in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that no fewer than 200 journalists participated in the training with the theme “Role of Media in the fight against insecurity.”

The event was organised by the state Ministry of Information, in collaboration with some foreign media partners.

Represented by Alhaji Ibrahim Dosara, Commissioner for Information, the governor urged journalists to be professional and to observe high ethical standards while discharging their duties.

Matawalle said the role of the journalists as watchdog of the society was critical as both the government and the governed relied on the media for accurate information to guide their decisions.

He said media professionals could not afford to be less professional and unethical while reporting figure and statistics, especially during crises.

According to him, the media are expected to report responsibly by providing factual information about fight against banditry and kidnapping as that will reduce tension among the people.

The governor urged journalists to cultivate entrepreneurial spirit and skills in the use of new technologies in order to remain relevant in the media and communication industry.

He assured journalists of government support and advised them to be objective in their reportage.

In his remark, on behalf of the resource persons at the training, Mr Yusuf Dingyadi called on the participants to ensure they verify sensitive information before going to press.

He advised media professionals on the positive use of technologies and to verify each information at their disposal before releasing same to the public.

Dingyadi said responsible journalism would impact positively in the fight against banditry and kidnapping in Zamfara.

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