Penpushing media, UNIC train journalists on combating hate speech

3 months ago | 183


By Anthony Isibor.


THE virtual training workshop for Nigerian journalists on hate speech, which was organized on Wednesday, October 27, 2021 by Penpushing media in collaboration with United Nations Information Centre, UNIC, was focused on ‘Combating Hate Speech to build the culture of pace in Nigeria’.

The webinar also covered issues concerning International principles and national response to Hate Speech, the role of Civil Society organizations in countering hate speech in Nigeria, Countering online Hate Speech through the media among others.

The speakers all agreed that hate speech is a catalyst for violence in ethnic/religious nations like Nigeria, and must be checked, adding that the fight against hate speech is the duty of all.

They called on Non-Governmental Organizations, the entertainment industry, the media agencies, as well as parents to sensitize the public on what constitutes hate speech as well as the dangers of hate speech, engage in collective condemnation, intervention, and the support of victims of hate speech in the country.

According to Roland Kayanja, the UN, defines hate speech as any kind of communication in speech, writing or behavior that are false or use of pejorative or discriminatory language with reference to a person or a group on the basis of who they are; based on their religion, ethnicity, nationality, race or decent as well as gender.

Olufunke Fadugba, Chairman of Penpushing media, noted that hate speech ultimately leads to hatred of the person, the system and even the government, and of course affects the total social-economic, cultural and religious stability of the nation.

Kayanja added that hate speech does not undermine the freedom of expression as believed by some people.

“Addressing hate speech for us in the UN is a major issue now; there are some concerns that some government in addressing hate speech will limit the freedom of speech and expression.

“Addressing hate speech does not limit the freedom of speech, it means keeping hate speech from escalating into something more dangerous. Especially into inciting discrimination and violence, which are prohibited by law.

Stella Jibril stated that hate speech has been with us as a country and noted that the various ethnic groups in the country have always have derogatory names for their neighbors, which over time have become the norm.

She also said that this has become worrisome as it has degenerated into more grievous name-calling, adding that hate speech can be identified through offensive, profane and abusive languages and cyberbullying.

Prof. Yemi Obalanlege also noted that the menace of hate speech has become worrisome due to the advancement in technology.

“Now that we have the social media, and everyone is a journalist, it means that anybody can disseminate information on the social media, and sometimes we do have it on the traditional media as well.

He, however, added that Hate Speech can be checked by firstly training the journalists on the ethics of journalism.

Some of the discussants at the online event included Oluseyi Soremekun, National Information Officer, UNIC, Stella Jibril, Director, Research/Documentation, Nigeria Press Council, Roland Kayanja, Country Director, UNIC, Prof. Yemi Obalanlege, Olota of Ota, Babakura Abba Jato, Commissioner for Home Affairs, Information and Culture, Borno State, Owolabi Oladejo, Proprietor, Metropolitan Broadcasting Service among others.

- Oct. 27, 2021 @ 18:03 GMT |

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