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Home / Activity-report / REPORT OF THE ONE-DAY MEDIA SENSITIZATION FORUM ON HATE AND DANGEROUS SPEECH IN KANO BY CITAD

REPORT OF THE ONE-DAY MEDIA SENSITIZATION FORUM ON HATE AND DANGEROUS SPEECH IN KANO BY CITAD

NTRODUCTION
The Centre for Information Technology and
Development (CITAD) with support
from Nigeria Stability and Reconciliatory
Programmed (NSRP) on the 24th
August, 2015 organized a one-day media
sensitization forum on hate and
dangerous speech. The program took place at the
conference hall of Aminu
Kano Centre for Democratic Research and Training
(Mambayya House). It
brought together Journalists and media
practitioners from various media
houses, members of CSOs and CBOs spread
across Kano state.
The program was attended by 50 representatives of
the invited stakeholder
organizations and the objective of the forum is “to
contain the speed of
hate speech in the society and to strategize on the
way forward in curbing
hate speech at both levels of reporting and
advertorials in Nigerian spaces
with a particular emphasis on Kano state.
The program kicked off with welcome remarks by
Malam Abdulganiyyu Rufa’i
the Program Officer (Peace) CITAD who welcomed
the participants to the
forum and explained the objectives of the workshop.
Malam Kabiru Dakata of CITAD made a
presentation on Understanding Hate and
Dangerous Speech at the first session. He started
with an outline of what
hate and dangerous speeches are and their
linkages. He explained further
that hate and dangerous speech are different but
linked i.e. one can lead
to other, viz;
1. Hate and dangerous speech are differentiated by
the influence of the
speaker.
2. They hardly lead to positive outcome.
3. Affects the speaker more than the target.
4. They are conveyed by different medium of
communication
He outlined the key attributes for the identification
of hate speech in the
context of Nigeria. He highlighted that in law any
speech, gesture or
conduct, writing or display which is forbidden
because it may incite
violence against individual or a group of people is
considered a hate
speech. He asserted broadly that a hate/dangerous
speech can be taken as
any form of expression that:
1. Harms directly or indirectly an individual or a
group of people because
of their affiliation to group that can be identified
either by ethnicity
religion or geography, etc..
2. Disparages or intimidates individuals or a group
on their baisis of the
identification
3. Denigrates people on the basis of their
membership in a group, ethnic or
religious etc
4. Condones discriminatory contempt against
people with disability or women
because of their gender.
5. Abuses figures that symbolize religious or
cultural practices.
In the last segment of his presentation, Dakata
cited examples of
hate/dangerous speech from the Rwandan
perspective. He explained how the
Hutus used the media platforms available to them
(then) during the Rwandan
civil war of 1994 to spread speeches of hate against
the Tutsis which
eventually claimed the lives of hundreds of
thousands of people. He
emphasized on the importance of media in making
or marring the peaceful
coexistence of a heterogeneous society like
Nigeria.
The second session was presented by Malam
Abdulganiyyu Rufa’i of CITAD. He
explained that CITAD domesticated the UMATI
coding framework methodology
which allowed CITAD to a have hate/dangerous
speech monitoring methodology.
He went further to present the synopsis of the
outcome of hate/dangerous
speech monitoring done by CITAD for the period
covering January to mid
July, 2015. Of which the following stood out:
1. That about 80% of the people disseminating hate/
dangerous speech use
English language to do so with a 15% visible content
in Hausa language in
Nigerian social media platforms.
2. That about 69% of the disseminators of hate/
dangerous speech in the
Nigerian social media are identifiable and can be
reached easily in case of
countering.
3. That of all the media platforms in Nigeria
generating hate/dangerous
speech, face-book stands out with 66% followed
remotely by online news
articles with 14% and then twitter 10%.
4. That about 45% of hate/dangerous speech posts
generated in the Nigerian
social media are calling for riot, 30% are calling for
beat/injure and then
23% are calling people to kill.
5. That there are a number of hate/dangerous
speeches that are being passed
around and whose circulation had previously stirred
up violence.
The session was followed with comments and
questions from the participants
and was responded by Abdulganiyyu Rufa’i.
The third session entitled “Dangerous speech on
Political Programs in Radio
Broadcast was an open discussion. Some of the
media practitioners and CSO
activists who graced the program commented with
many linking the problem of
Dangerous speech on political programs in media
broadcasts, as a whole, to
deliberate deviation from goal-driven model of
journalism to
commercially-driven model by mostly private media
houses.
The third session was also facilitated by Malam
Abdulganiyyu Rufa’i of
CITAD who presented the countering strategies
deployed by CITAD during the
period. He started by saying that monitoring was
followed by countering
dangerous speech that were found to be volatile. He
said that CITAD
deployed several strategies for countering and
elaborated the four major
strategies used by CITAD in countering hate/
dangerous speech, viz;
1. Influencing the speaker through counter speech
in unison.
2. Counter speech by influential leaders.
3. Developing audience resistant to dangerous
speech.
4. Reporting to regulatory agencies.
The final session was made a plenary session and
it was chaired by Ado
Sa’idu Warawa of Freedom Radio Kano and he was
deputized by Tijjani Yahaya
of NTA, Kano and Halima Muhammad of Rahama
Radio Kano to mainstream gender.
The session discussed and came up with the
following observations:
1. Hate and Dangerous speech is an issue in
Nigeria today as a result of
the proliferation of such messages in both
traditional and new media.
2. Political party affiliates use both traditional and
new media to promote
hate and dangerous speech.
3. Xenophobic attacks in countries outside Nigeria
on Nigerian nationals
happens too as a result of hate and dangerous
speech and that can be
handled if the traditional media in Nigerian can step
up its efforts with a
lot of commitment to the condemnation of such
atrocious acts.
3. Private media houses are found wanting in the
proper mitigation of
issues related to hate and dangerous speech and
this is attributed to their
primary motive: they are usually more
commercially-driven than development
driven.
4.No active regulatory agency exists to enforce
NBC’s code against hate and
dangerous speech on media platforms available.
The meeting then offered the following
recommendations:
1. There is need for capacity building training for
media personnel
facilitated by proprietors of media organization to
broadcast responsibly
on airwaves and avoid dangerous and hate speech.
2. There is a need for the use of traditional media to
influence new media
by encouraging discussion of trending topics on
current issues and making a
particular topic newsworthy.
3. Conventional media, using resources available to
it, can set agenda for
social media.
4. Private bills should be sponsored in the
parliament to make
government-owned media houses like NTA, FRCN
etc. independent of the
political leadership
5. The existing Government policies and laws are
flawed and outdated. They
should be reviewed and made to promote reporting
with professionalism and
integrity.
6.Taking the campaign to higher institutions of
learning whose audience is
large and extended on ways to tame hate and
dangerous speech and
mainstreaming it into curriculum.
7. There is need for the guild of corporate online
publishers to organize
training programmes for their members on what
should be and what should not
be reported online.
8. Hate and dangerous speech should not be taken
for granted and as such
media organizations should form coalition that will
monitor and counter
hate and dangerous speech.
9. There is need for a roundtable discussion
between media organizations to
identify modalities that will mitigate hate and
dangerous speech taking
into cognizance how and where hate and dangerous
speech should be reported.
10. There is need for creation of social media policy
and social media
personnel to contain hate and dangerous speech.
11. Public awareness is instrumental to countering
hate and dangerous
speech more especially if the campaign takes to
streets using banners and
flyers to educate people on the dangers of hate and
dangerous speech.
12. Media organisations in collaboration with CSOs
and CBOs should put
pressure on the government to privatize
government-owned media outlets.
13. There is need for religious and traditional
institutions to issue
admonishments to their members on the dangers of
hate and dangerous speech.
14. There is need for the establishment of clear
hate and dangerous speech
policies in their terms of service and mechanisms
of enforcing them.
15.There is need for teaching the youth (who are
majority on social media)
to think critically about all the media they consume
in order to help them
to recognize both overt and cloaked hate and
dangerous speech on social
media.
16. There is need for a collaborative effort by media
platforms and
regulators to jointly monitor and mitigate hate and
dangerous speech.
17. There is need for intense traditional media
campaign using catchy spot
programs to discourage public from engaging in
hate and dangerous speech.
18. There is need for media outlets to indulge in the
habit of settling
government taxes duly to fast track the involvement
of government in
enforcing laws guiding the tenets of broadcasting.
19. There is need for the remodeling of ‘yan-baka
venture as it may present
a very lucrative source of employment for the youth
if harnessed wisely.
OUTCOME(S)
1. At the end of the sensitization program the
representatives of the media
organisations, CSOs and CBOs came to the
conclusion that a collective
action is needed to help mitigate dangerous and
hate speech on traditional
and new media and that culminated into the
formation of a coalition
christened “Media Coalition against Hate and
Dangerous Speech”.
2. Media stations pledged to convince their
managements to develop a social
media policy and appoint social media manager to
moderate discussion and
prevent hate and dangerous speeches in their
social media platforms
3. The media organisations seek the Technical
support of CITAD to develop
their Social media policy and request that CITAD
give their Social media
managers a technical training to moderate and
develop social media
platforms for their programs.

About Adamu Umar

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