Hamid Fatimah Omotayo (Pen babe) writes,
To understand the role that Journalism ought to play in the fight for Nigeria’s security and humanitarian challenges we need to know: What is Journalism? What is Security? What are humanitarian challenges? What is the purpose of journalism and what do journalists do? I will now like to explain these aforementioned.
What is Journalism?
Journalism can be defined as, the activity of gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information. It is also the product of these activities. Journalism can be distinguished from other activities and products by certain identifiable characteristics and practices. These elements not only separate journalism from other forms of communication, but they are also what makes it indispensable to democratic societies. History reveals that the more democratic a society, the more news, and information it tends to get
Objectives of Journalism
The easiest way to understand the goal and objectives of journalism is to understand the function of news, which is what the journalist offers. What function, therefore, does news perform in the lives of the people? News is the part of communication that keeps the citizen informed of the changing events, issues, and trends in the world. Though it may be interesting or even entertaining, the foremost value of news is as a utility to empower the informed. Fact-based journalism serves democracy and the people. The goal and objectives of journalism are therefore to provide citizens with the information they need to build the best possible decisions about their lives, their communities, their societies, and their governments.
Security is protection from, or resilience against, potential harm or other unwanted coercion caused by others, by restraining the freedom of others to act. Beneficiaries technically referents of security may be persons and social groups, objects, institutions, ecosystems, or any other entity or phenomenon vulnerable to unwanted change.
Security can also be defined as the state of being free from danger or threat. It is designed to provide maximum security against toxic spills.
Humanitarian challenges are generalized emergency that affects an entire community or a group of people in a region, which involves high levels of mortality or malnutrition, the spread of disease and epidemics, and health emergencies.
To tackle humanitarian issues, the media have to perform surveillance and sensitization roles.
Firstly, reporting donations and support rendered to the affected persons by governments and relevant bodies and ensuring that they are equally distributed without diversion.
The media must work tirelessly to see that displaced persons are well-settled and provided with all their needs.
By reporting child labor, sexual violence, and other forms of injustice.
Journalism must track where people causing insecurities dwell and report them to appropriate security personnel.
IDPs (Internally displaced people) should be sensitized on the need to value their health, education, and physical and psychological well-being.
Lastly, the media also must analyze the fundamental causes of conflicts and proffer solutions. When conflict erupts, the media can stabilize it through objective, balanced, and fair reportage.