Journalists have been charged to ensure the transparent balancing of news stories and coverage among all the faiths practiced in the country, to maintain equity and justice.
The National Coordinator, Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria (MMWG), Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, stated this at the 2nd National Conference of the group, held at the FOMWAN Multi-Purpose Hall, Ilorin, Kwara State.
According to Alhaji Abdullahi, media organisations must all times strive to promote the nations rich religious and cultural diversity, by being fair and objective in their reportage.
He said the essence of the association is to provide the requisite assistance to media organisations so that they can continue to promote the ideals of peace and cooperation among the various religious divides in the country, enshrined in the code of conduct of their profession.
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The MMWG National Coordinator explained by the association was established in 2006, following noticeable gaps in Da’awah in Nigeria especially the onslaught against Muslims in the Media, with respect to terrorism.
The cleric noted that so far, efforts of the group have been yielding results with all media houses in the land, adhering strictly to the codes and ethics of media and how they can use their platform to promote religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence.
According to him, “Membership were drawn from Journalists, Mass-Communicators, Academics of other disciplines from our various Higher Institutions, Islamic Scholars, Public Administrators, Medical Experts, Legal Practitioners and Professionals in various fields.
“The aims and objectives of the Group are m, To promote quality broadcast in Media Organization all over the Country. b) To encourage fair-play, justice and equity in airing of religious programmes in the electronic media and equal space in the print media.
“To ensure transparent balancing in news coverage among all faiths practiced in the Country, so as to maintain equity and justice.
“To assist Media Organizations in the Country to perform efficiently and effectively with a view to promoting religious peace and harmony. To discourage use of obscene materials in the electronic and print Media; so as to increase the moral values of our youths in particular and the entire people of the Country in general.
“To discourage provocative/abusive sermons that could lead to religious conflicts. To ensure that Media Organizations conform with the rules and regulations of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to avoid conflict among ethnic, religious and other groups.
“To correct misrepresentation of Islam and Muslims in any of the Media; by putting-in the correct, accurate and true picture of the issues at stake in the right perspectives for the benefit of viewers, listeners and readers.
“To partner with any Organization, Agency or Group that shares the aspirations of the Group.
” To assist Federal, State and Local Governments in the Country in disseminating information that would have overall benefits to the Muslims in particular and the citizens of the Country in general, to partner with individuals and Associations in presentation and sponsorship of Islamic programmes on the electronic media all over the Country.
“To encourage and support interfaith dialogue with a view to promoting religious understanding and cohesion in the Nigeria Society. Since then, we have taken the “bull by the horns” to reshape the affairs of Muslim Ummah in Nigeria as far as coverage of Muslim activities in the Mass Media are concerned.”.