By Cecilia Ologunagba
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Port Harcourt Sub Delegation has solicited renewed support of the Nigerian media in reporting humanitarian issues.
Ms Joelle Achkar, Head of Sub Delegation, ICRC Port Harcourt, made the call at the closing of a two-day Humanitarian Reporting Workshop in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
Achkar congratulated the participants for the knowledge they had acquired and urged them to put it into practice.
She said that information sharing was key for ICRC and that the organisation would not hesitate to share relevant information with the journalists.
The facilitator of the training, Dr Bala Muhammad, told the participants that it was important for journalists to understand the causes of conflict before reporting it.
Muhammad, a lecturer at Mass Communication Department, Bayero University, Kano said humanitarian reporting entails ways of making lives of people better in the midst of crisis and conflict.
He said that humanitarian principles were the same with humanitarian reporting, listing them as humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence.
The resource person, however, urged journalists to put in their best in reporting activities at the Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps, irregular migration of youths and other humanitarian issues in the country.
Meanwhile, some of the participants who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) thanked ICRC and the facilitator for the knowledge gained at the workshop.
Mrs Ozioma Chikezie-Ukaha, a participant from Abia, said the workshop had given her the opportunity to know about the Red Cross Movement and its mandate of serving humanity.
Chikezie-Ukaha, Director, Television Service, Broadcasting Corporation of Abia State, said she would step down the training to the staff in her department.
Another participant from Rivers, Uche Okopo, said the facilitator was practical in his approach of presentation, relating it to practical experiences.
“I will do my best to do more of human angle reports now. So, I really want to thank ICRC for inviting me for this workshop,” he said.
Similarly, Maryam Muhammed, a participant from Abuja, said she would be looking at human angle stories rather than vested interest stories.
“I have learnt a lot from the facilitator and I have the responsibility to put into practice all that I have learnt,’’ she said.
Also, a participant from Cross River, Iwara Iwara, said the workshop had made him to have a deeper understanding of humanitarian journalism.
He commended the ICRC for engaging some journalists on the issue, saying “media are partner in progress with ICRC.’’
NAN reports that no fewer than 20 journalists from South South, South East and Abuja attended the workshop.