DG NEMA Seeks Partnership with the Media in Reporting Disasters and Emergencies

Mustapha Habib Ahmed, Director General of the Nigerian Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) accompanied by a high powered delegation of NEMA’s leadership team played host to publishers, senior editors and leading lights of the Nigerian media industry drawn from the broadcast, print and online segments.

The awareness creation and capacity building workshop which proceeded under the theme “NEMA’s Workshop for Media Practitioners on Disaster Reporting” held in Lagos on Saturday July 15, 2023 provided an opportunity for NEMA to interact with media practitioners, share learning and insights and equip the media practitioners with knowledge that would help in their reportage as well as enabling them to mediate misinformation, disinformation and fake news while building resilience in the sector.

The workshop was put together by NEMA, Impact Pointe Consultancy Limited, Vista, Radi8 and The Media Training Room.

In his keynote, the DG noted that “we intend to foster collaboration and networking between media practitioners and NEMA. Our shared goal is to facilitate effective information dissemination during emergencies. By working together, we can ensure that timely and accurate information reaches the public, creating much needed awareness and enabling them to make informed decisions and take necessary precautions where applicable.”

Speaking further he said the workshop was necessary to enable media practitioners “report on disasters and NEMA as the apex disaster management agency in Nigeria. The objective is to provide a clear understanding of NEMA’s remit, Nigeria’s triple response structure, and NEMA’s relationship with subnational actors. Equally important is your awareness of NEMA’s information dissemination and emergency protocols.”

He enjoined media practitioner to act “as gate-keepers in this era of disinformation. We trust you to act as the bulwark against misinformation and fake news and the shenanigans of citizen journalists and fifth columnists.”

The workshop featured technical presentations, panel discussions and robust interactions. NEMA’s Director, Special Duties – Dr Onimode Bandele Abdullahi in his technical presentation “explored the history of NEMA, the agency’s mandate and efforts in disaster management in Nigeria”, while the panel discussion moderated by Dayo Alao focused on  “Navigating Challenges in Disaster Reporting: Insights from Media Practitioners” and had as panelists NEMA’s Director of Disaster Risk Reduction, Dr. Daniel Obot; Head, NEMA Lagos Territorial Office, Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye; Managing Editor, Daily Trust, Mr. Hamza Idris and  Publisher, Eagle Online, Mr. Dotun Oladipo. 

The second technical presentation, “Collaborative Approaches in Disaster Reporting: Strengthening Partnerships for Effective Communication” was led by Comunications Management Expert, Chido Nwakanma while PR and Development expert, Toni Kan facilitated the third technical presentation on the theme “Ethics in Disaster Reporting: Balancing Sensationalism and Responsible Journalism”.

The session concluded with a feedback from the appreciative media practitioners.

Commending NEMA for the initiative, Maureen Chigbo president of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) and publisher of realnewsmagazine.net “said the workshop was insightful and timely and would help enhance reportage of disasters and emergencies from the perspective of well-informed media practitioners.”

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