Participants at a workshop on Digital Journalism and National Security: The Role of Social Media Influencers in the Fight Against Crime have advocated good governance and respect for rule of law as key to improving the security situation across the country.
The workshop held in Kano was organized by PRNigeria Centre with Security Agencies, Media Professionals, Youth Groups, Social Media Influencer and Academics in attendance.
The workshop acquainted participants on the role of media in addressing security challenges and to officially unveil Arewa Agenda, a Media Advocacy Platform for Peaceful Coexistence and National Development.
In a paper presentation by Mallam Yushau Shuaib, CEO of Image Merchants Promotion Limited, Publishers of PRNigeria and Economic Confidential titled “Strategic Communication for Crisis Management,” emphasized the importance of channels of communication been adopted in the dissemination of information to check insecurity.
Also presenting a paper, titled “New Media and the Agenda Setting Theory; A Case for Security Consciousness by Mohammed Dahiru Lawal, Managing Editor, Arewa Agenda said the New Media or online journalism open new ways of storytelling primarily through text, audio, video and photography.
In a communique released after the workshop, the participants observed that the prevailing insecurity in Nigeria and especially in the North is alarming, worrisome and calls for strategic and proactive measures by all stakeholders.
“The deployment of fire brigade approach in crisis management is becoming a norm and also the anonymous nature of social media presence makes it easy for some users to peddle hate speech and fake news, the communique,” said participants observed.
The communique added that parts of the recommendation include “Non-Kinetic approach on tackling insecurity especially through awareness campaign, political inclusion and social empowerment
“The need to establish, sustain and improve inter-agency collaboration for intelligence gathering and coordinated operation in the fight against crimes
“Improve Media relations/synergy with members of the 4th Estate of the realm in ensuring adequate, timely and responsive information delivery’’
“Need for a proactive approach in crisis management through adequate planning, simulation exercises among others.’’
“Need to carry Nigerian youths along in ensuring that they go beyond primordial sentiment in social media engagement, particularly to ensure that their narratives are targeted towards Nation Building and Peaceful coexistence.”
The Manager, PRNigeria Centre, Mr Adnan Mukhtar said the workshop was organised to sustain synergy and collaboration between Security agencies, the media and influencers towards ensuring national security.