Stakeholders Urged Journalists To Protect National Security
Security industry stakeholders have advised journalists to always protect the nation’s interests and security when reporting on security issues.
On Wednesday, they made the request at a one-day course on security for media practitioners hosted by the National Association of Online Security News Publishers in Lagos.
According to ACI Oluwaseun Abolurin, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Lagos Command, publishing negative security stories could drive away international investors.
“Before reporting on security issues, journalists should consider the national interest, as negative news can drive away foreign investors.”
Stakeholders “Many countries pray and bless their countries on a daily basis; Nigerians should follow suit.”
He claimed that, while willingly serving the country, some media outlets were fond of portraying security agency activities in a negative light.
“Journalists should quit tarnishing security organisations’ reputations; we go to crime scenes to save lives, property, and restore tranquilly, yet all we receive in return is negativity.”
“In a complicated society, we’re fighting complex security,” he remarked.
In a scenario that could jeopardise or undermine the nation’s security, Abolurin advised caution.
“When reporting security issues, exercise prudence; consider the collective interest rather than the individual’s; do not pursue glamour and fame at the expense of the nation’s security.” Cases or occurrences that jeopardise the country’s security can be hidden.
“Everyone will be affected if the country burns; what we need more is teamwork and collaborative cooperation for the greater interest of the country,” he continued.
The PRO encouraged journalists to avoid spreading fake news and to write news that is neutral and fair.
Maj. AK Bello, Assistant Director, Army Public Relations Officer, Ikeja, Lagos, also urged media to be proactive in order to avoid harming the country’s image.
“Treat this country properly, because how you treat her will influence how other countries treat her,” he remarked.
He recommended journalists to thoroughly study topics before reporting them to the public.
“Check concerns before publishing them, and always prioritise the national interest.” Preach the correct gospel on a specific topic so that your actions will justify your actions in the end,” he stated.
Mr. Matthew Ibadin of Badinson Security Service, a security specialist, believes that citizens should prioritise security.
“Rather than broadcasting any misbehaviour by a member of our security agencies online, report it directly to the head of the agency in question.”
“Our security officers aren’t from the moon; they’re also human, and they’re the ones who keep our lives and property safe.” Other countries publish what they want their citizens to hear; please do not smear our country’s image by publishing unfavourable tales about it.
“A joint effort is required; we do not have any other country, and crimes occur in other countries as well.”
Journalists should utilise their work to promote peace and the country’s positive image. Criticism is healthy, but it must be constructive; the government is doing its best as well.
“You can use your pen to question our leaders and politicians about why they and their families travel to foreign schools and hospitals,” he urged.