The Government of the Russian Federation, through its embassy in Nigeria, has entered into partnership with the Nigerian media aimed at countering terrorism and other social vices in the country.
In an interactive session with some senior editors at the Russian Embassy in Abuja, the Deputy Head of Mission, Valery Shaposhnikov, presented documents on Antiterrorism Convention, which is a code of conduct for the media in case of terrorist acts and counterterrorism operations, to the Deputy President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Suleiman Uba Gaya.
The document was first adopted in 2003 by the Industrial Committee of Russian Media, and it has helped the media of that country in sensitising the citizenry about the dangers terrorists portend, and how to forestall it.
The document, copies of which will be made available to journalists and editors, elucidates on the important place of the media in facilitating open discussion of the problems of terrorism towards getting Nigerians play key parts in defeating Boko Haram and all acts of terrorism in the country and across the globe.
It also calls on the security services not to use terrorism as pretext or justification to impose undue restrictions on the media, emphasising that only when the media is free and informed can it partner with the military to defeat insurgency.
In doing so however, the Anti-terrorism Convention calls on the media to realise that rescue of victims and people’s right to life come first, and they should accordingly not do anything to jeopardise such.
Other key points of the document include the need for the media to inform the military of any useful information at its disposal, especially if it can be used to prevent terrorism or help in rescuing victim, as well as the need not to give any significant space or prominence to exploits of terrorists.