CJID trains journalists on human rights, conflict reporting in Lake Chad

In a bid to get journalists and researchers fully equipped on best practices in conflict, security and human rights reportage, the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID), with support from Open Society Foundations (OSF), have conducted a three-day training for about 21 Nigerian journalists in the FCT-Abuja recently.

Declaring the training open CJID Programme Director, Akintunde Babatunde, highlighting the work carried out at the CJID, and said the centre has conducted more than 150th training

Babatunde congratulated participants who made it through out of 380 applications the centre received alongside expatiating on the fundamental principles and standards that guide their operations.

The Security and Rights Programme Officer (Africa), Fiona Asuke in her goodwill message, emphasised the critical role of data journalism in conflict reporting and at the same time noted its ability to provide insights into the complicatedness and dynamics of conflicts.

CJID Project Manager, Felicia Dairo explained the project aim at promoting conflict, insecurity and human rights-related issues reportage in the Lake Chad area which has been ongoing for over a decade.

Dairo said: “The Lake Chad Basin is home to about 17 million Africans and it is a region that facing a serious humanitarian crisis. Data shows that the region has about 10.8 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and over 2.3 million people, including children, who have been displaced from their homes.”

“Sadly, the insurgency and terrorist activities in the region have claimed over 35,000 lives while others have been subjected to various human rights violations such as rape, kidnapping, and other forms of abuse.”

During the training, the participants had a series of enlightening sessions with top experts in their fields about the subject matters.

Amongst the facilitators, Senior Adviser (Nigeria) at International Crisis Group, Mr Nnamdi Obasi, who presented on the topic of “Understanding Conflict,” discussed the importance of understanding conflicts through their basic facts and overall profiles to communicate to audiences meaningfully. Furthermore, he emphasised the importance of presenting multiple causes of conflicts and adopting a comprehensive strategy for de-escalation and conflict resolution.

The Managing Editor Premium Times, Idris Akinbajo discussed on “The roles of Journalists in conflict reporting,” he highlighted the important questions that journalists should ask when reporting on conflicts. These questions include understanding the nature of the conflict, exploring its underlying causes, examining the perceptions of potential outcomes, identifying individuals or groups actively working to prevent violence, assessing the strategies they employ, and considering how support can be provided to such efforts.

A Professor of International Relations at Obafemi Awolowo University, Professor Charles Ukeje enlightened the participants on “Contextualising Conflict,” and he shared light on the importance of understanding the context of conflict as that is what would enrich the work of investigative journalists along with understanding, explaining, resolving and reporting any conflict in the best way possible.

The Managing Editor HumAngle, Hauwa Shaffi Nuhu took the participants on a different perspective through a session titled “Finding Hidden Conflict Stories: the art of Researching and finding stories that are Unique in conflict areas.”

Hauwa examined crucial topics such as armed violence, displacement and migration, climate change, wartime SGBV, and transitional justice issues, all of which hold significant relevance to conflict reporting. She noted that it is important to ask about the experiences of minority groups in the matters you are investigating. That doing so not only provides fresh perspectives but also ensures the understanding of the issues is in no doubt.