As parts of its contribution to the development of the media industry, the Broadcast Arts Institute Limited, a foremost media training institution, has commenced training to equip media practitioners, on how to use their profession to effectively counter radicalisation by extremists. The three-day master classes which began yesterday will take place in Lagos and Abuja.
According to a statement issued by the institute’s Programme Director, Maduka Ojimadu, the training which is targeted at online, print and broadcast practitioners, is designed to explore how responsible media professionals can help communities to understand their choices and the consequences of their decisions to promote violence.
“What can media professionals do to turn the tide of radicalisation? How can we debunk the potent messages of extremist propaganda? This course provides tools to target communities with convincing narratives that change minds. The peaceful world is struggling to cope with the persuasive powers of extremists. These are the questions that will be answered at the training,” the statement stated.
The statement stated that participants would be introduced to universal theories on story, format, persuasion and audience mapping and how these can be applied as an antidote to the global problem of radicalisation.
“Media is used by extremist radicalisers, so the antidote must also have media as part of the answer. Extremists use a closed media system and have made tremendous success in getting innocent minds into their ranks in droves. Whereas the open media have not made any visible attempts to counter the extremists and their message. It is time for us to defend the society with positive narratives.
“Alternative narratives should not just react to or counteract extremist stories and propaganda. They should also persuade and show the benefits and inclusiveness of the home societies and communities of those vulnerable to radicalisation, as well as exploring stories of the harsh realities of the idealised extremist locations and way of life. Emotions are especially important in the designing of persuasive stories,”
The Institute was said to have invited Mr. Turan Ali, who is the first media expert to offer media professionals a cogent methodology to counter ideologies of violence, disempower the motivations for radicalisation and provide alternatives. His unique approach course was said to set out effective strategies to respond to the distortions of radical propaganda.
“This first session is not a one for all approach, but the beginning of a process of equipping the media for this unique project of giving people a firewall against accepting extremists’ propaganda as truth. It is a must attend Master Class,” the statement said.