The Director General of the Nigerian Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Habib Ahmed, has said that no disaster can be managed effectively without the support of the media.
He also said the print, broadcast and credible online media platforms have a vantage position in checkmating fake news and disinformation. Ahmed, supported by senior NEMA officials, stated this in Lagos on Saturday at a gathering tagged, “NEMA’s Workshop for Media Practitioners on Disaster Reporting.”
The NEMA DG, who said disasters are local, added that agencies saddled with the responsibility of managing such emergencies needed the buy-in of critical stakeholders like the media to save lives and property.
The workshop was put together by NEMA, Impact Pointe Consultancy Limited, Vista, Radi8 and The Media Training Room.
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Ahmed said, “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.” He said the workshop was necessary to enable media practitioners to “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.
During a panel discussion on “Navigating Challenges in Disaster Reporting: Insights from Media Practitioners,” moderated by Dayo Alao, the panellists including NEMA’s Director of Disaster Risk Reduction, Dr Daniel Obot; Editor of Daily Trust, Hamza Idris; and Publisher, The Eagle Online, Dotun Oladipo, among others shared their experiences and explored ways of working together.
The second technical presentation, “Collaborative Approaches in Disaster Reporting: Strengthening Partnerships for Effective Communication,” was led by communications 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.”