Reporting conflict

A workshop for journalists covering conflict situations was held in Guwahati recently

Several important issues of Armed Conflict Reporting and International Humanitarian Law were discussed during a day-long media workshop on the subject of armed conflict reporting and humanitarian law organized at the National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam (NLUJA) today. The day-long workshop was organized jointly in collaboration with International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), NLUJA and Journalist Forum Assam (JFA). The programme was aimed at providing vital information to the working journalists of the region. Over 50 working journalist from different parts of Assam and Manipur participated in the workshop.

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ICRC Communication Coordinator Marek Resich explained the ICRC mandate and mission before the participants and narrated the role played by International body during conflict situation around the world. Communication and Political advisor ICRC Surinder Singh Oberoi said that safety should be priority for the journalists while covering conflict situations.

“My suggestion to the journalists who cover the conflict zones should give priority to their safety. If you take risk and lose your life, there is no use. India being one of the most dangerous places for journalists one has to be extremely careful,” said the Oberoi, while remembering his assignment as a journalist during the Kargil war.

Gurjeet Singh, Vice Chancellor of NLUJA highlighted the importance of International Humanitarian Law and role of media in changing the fate of society. Besides, Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, Additional Director General of Police of Assam, Benjamin Warhren, Deputy Head of ICRC, Regional Delegation for South Asia, Renuka Devi Barkataki, Chairperson, of Indian Red Cross (Assam branch), senior journalist DN Chakraborty were also present on the occasion among others. Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, who attended the workshop as Chief Guest, criticized the sensational ways adopted by local television channels to create confusion among the viewers.

“Media has been doing a tremendous role in highlighting the issues of our society but some occasions media especially television seems to be doing unnecessary things by creating sensations,” Mahanta said. He also said that the state authority should provide sufficient amount of information to the journalists for balancing the news. The workshop was attended by journalists from across the northeast.