The Interfaith Mediation Center on 26th Nov, 2019, hosted the 3rd Monthly forum with media on Peace Journalism. The focus of discussion was the proposed Hate Speech Bill.
After extensive deliberations Participants made some recommendations which include
“That, there is a need for Nigerians to go back to our cultural values which emphasized on respect and discipline as well as, dump alien cultures which doesn’t add value to us as a people.
“That there are already existing civil laws to handle hate speech crimes, they should be amended to suit the current realities in the fight against hate speech.
“The participants observed that, the proposed hate speech bill will violate the freedom of expression clause in the Nigerian constitution and does not promote liberal democracy as we practice in Nigeria.
“Media should be professional and not take side along religious or ethnic lines when discharging their social responsibilities.
“They blamed politicians for exaggerating hate speech so that to get cheap publicity in the media.
“They suggested that, Editors in particular should use their sense of editorial judgment towards de-escalating conflict report and fake news by way of mellowing down especially conflict reports in order not to harm society.
Journalists must abide by the ethics of the novel profession in order to promote peaceful coexistence in the country.
Media practitioners should cross check their source of news as well as, cross check their facts before going to the press.
Journalists must first have the interest of Nigeria at heart in their reportage.