CDS Seeks Military-Media Relations

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General AG Olonisakin has called for collaborations between the military and the media for enhanced public education on national security.

General Olonisakin made the call at a one-day seminar for defence correspondents at Defence Headquarters, Abuja.

The seminar, which is themed “Enhancing National Security and Cohesion Through Responsible Media Reportage” is geared towards improving relationship with the military in order to advance its new strategies in peace building efforts.

He said: “The nature of military operations demands that we maintain cordial working relationship with the media for enlightenment purpose and national security.

“Furthermore, it is imperative that we mobilize and sustain support for our operations as well as improve the mutual understanding between the military, media and general public.

“The current efforts of the military and other security agencies at tackling security challenges in the country cannot be fully successful without media support. It is, therefore, pertinent that accurate reportage is prioritised while falsehoods and inflammatory stories are reduced to the barest minimum and whenever possible, avoided.”

In his keynote address, the Director General of National Orientation Agency, NOA advocated objective, effective and responsible journalism.

“Some common media practices which exacerbate crises situations in Nigeria include surface and sporadic coverage of conflicts as against in-depth and investigative reporting, selective reportage and stereotyping of individuals and groups (including the military), reporting conflicts out of context, use of inciting, bogus and sensational headlines in a bid to boost sales, and passing off statements and attributes of individuals as those of a group, thereby making generalisations not supported by facts.

“If the mass media will contribute meaningfully to combating insecurity in Nigeria, then it must desist from such practices,” he said.

Earlier, the Director Defence Information, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, in his welcome address, said the seminar was conceptualised in order to have effective media as an instrument for crisis management and conflict resolution, as well as a veritable tool for socio-political development of the country.

By PRNigeria