Banditry: Matawalle cautions journalists, social media influencers

Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara

Zamfara Gov. Bello Matawalle

Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara, on Friday in Gusau, cautioned journalists against reeling out unverified information on the security situation in the state.

The governor specifically cautioned journalists, especially social media influencers, against reeling out unverified figures and sensitive information, capable of fueling the already tense situation in the state.

Matawalle spoke at the close of a two-day training of 200 journalists in the state on objectively reporting the fight against insecurity in the state.

He said releasing unverified information to the public would jeopardize the fight against banditry and kidnapping in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that no fewer than 200 journalists participated in the training with the theme “Role of Media in the fight against insecurity.”

The event was organised by the state Ministry of Information, in collaboration with some foreign media partners.

Represented by Alhaji Ibrahim Dosara, Commissioner for Information, the governor urged journalists to be professional and to observe high ethical standards while discharging their duties.

Matawalle said the role of the journalists as watchdogs of the society was critical as both the government and the governed relied on the media for accurate information to guide their decisions.

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He said media professionals could not afford to be less professional and unethical while reporting figures and statistics, especially during crises.

According to him, the media are expected to report responsibly by providing factual information about the fight against banditry and kidnapping as that will reduce tension among the people.

The governor urged journalists to cultivate entrepreneurial spirit and skills in the use of new technologies in order to remain relevant in the media and communication industry.

He assured journalists of government support and advised them to be objective in their reportage.

In his remark, on behalf of the resource persons at the training, Mr. Yusuf Dingyadi called on the participants to ensure they verify sensitive information before going to press.

He advised media professionals on the positive use of technologies and to verify each information at their disposal before releasing the same to the public.

Dingyadi said responsible journalism would impact positively the fight against banditry and kidnapping in Zamfara.