By Evelyn Usman
The United States Consulate in Nigeria Monday, began a three- day training for journalists covering the Defense beat, with a view to building their capacity in the coverage of national security, terrorism, conflicts and peace building effort.
In his opening remark at the Shoregate Hotel, Ikeja, its Public Affairs Officer, Russell Brooks, explained that the training workshop themed ‘ Defense and National Security Reporting ‘seminar was aimed among other goals, to widen participants’ scope of knowledge on the Military and in turn disseminate to members of the public.
He stated that as a country that believed in democracy, the US would not relent in supporting countries like Nigeria which had embraced democracy,
According to him: “Supporting democracy requires more that than conducting elections. It also involves good governance in form of security, good governance in form of how these institutions in the security area are responding to the need of the public and whether they are properly accountable to the public.
In order to ensure that the institutions are accountable to the public , it requires a script from the press.
“Also, in the area of national security it requires a press that is knowledgeable about the organisation. At times it is difficult as civilians in the media to properly understand military culture and history. Therefore, one of the things that we can do to help reporters do their jobs is to assist them understand that culture.
We hope that participants would have a fixed understanding about military and be able to report effectively at the end of this training. We also hope they will have networked to enable themselves, their colleagues and other media institutions do their job effectively”.
The course facilitators are: former Director, Defense Information, Maj.Gen.Chris Olukolade (rtd) and Mr Otto Kresiher, a co- founder of the US- based Military Reporters and Editors Association and an independent defense reporter with about five decade experience.
Topics to be treated at the three-day training are Military and National Identity, Language of the Military, ,Specific aspect of defense / national security journalism and Main bases and camps among others.