In order to enthrone truth and deepen professionalism in the Nigerian media industry, the Channels Academy has trained government spokespersons in international best practices and crises communications.
The training which was held in Abuja become necessary as various crises are being reported across the country with the aim of developing accurate information gathering and dissemination.
During the five-day training exercise issues affecting government spokesmen in the country came to the fore as solutions were proffered to tackle them.
International Media Trainer, Eduardo Cue at the training said, spokesperson should be handled with more seriousness and carried along in the decision-making process
“Most unfortunately, communications people, spokespeople are not given the seriousness that they deserve. It seems to me that a lot of the leadership, maybe Ministers and the like still have not quite understood how important communicating is in our age.”
One of the government spokesperson who benefitted from the training, the Chief Press Secretary to Delta State Governor, Mr Charles Aniagwu was convinced that the training was useful in sharpening his communication skills, “Especially getting us to understand that you must identify the product that you are giving to the public and that when you understand that product, in which case it could be the policy of government, it could be the decision of the government. That your ability to understand it make you in a position to communicate it very well.”
“That your ability to understand it make you in a position to communicate it very well.”
A growing source of concern that divides people and societies is the use of hate speech through the social and mainstream media.
It is a trend Channels Academy hopes to check in the coming days, working in partnership with the Peace Media and Peace Tech Lab.
The Director of the Peace Media and Peace Tech Lab, Theo Dolan, who was at the launch of the Channels Academy in Abuja, said his organisation would support the academy’s curriculum.
“With the launch of the Channels (journalism) Academy, we can integrate hate speech training into the academy’s curriculum and that is what we are hoping to do. We’ll be in discussions about that and I think this is something that professional media can learn more about as well,” he said.
Mr Dolan lamented that some opinion columnists sometimes engage in the use hate speech, saying: “It is obviously very dangerous, especially when it’s coming through the mainstream media”.
He noted further that its trend can be reduced through government and individual efforts.
“There needs to be an effective liaison place to govern hate speech and there has to be a proper reinforcement, that often is lacking. I think the most effective way to address hate speech on social media is for social media users to address it either by reporting instances to the technology companies or by taking steps themselves; for example shaming those people (in large groups) who are actually perpetrating hate speech,” said Dolan.