Saudi Arabian General Commission for Audiovisual Media (GCAM) has cautioned Nigerian journalists currently covering the ongoing 2023 Hajj against political and sectarian reportage.
GCAM is responsible for the development, regulation and supervision of audio-visual media transmission and content in accordance with the kingdom’s media policy.
The GCAM Director in-charge of Jeddah Office, Saudi Arabia, Alhaji Hamzah Algobishie, made the call on Monday when he received a delegation from the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), led by its Deputy Coordinator of Makkah Operations Alhaji Alidu Shutti.
He also urged the Nigerian media to be factual, fair, accurate and balanced while reporting all issues concerning the 2023 hajj related to Nigerian pilgrims.
He advised the media to work in accordance with the guidelines for hajj coverage in Makkah and Madina before, during and after the hajj rituals.
Similarly, the director enjoined members of the NAHCON media team to strictly limit themselves to reporting hajj affairs as their primary assignments for the Nigerian hajj commission in Saudi Arabia.
Algobishie emphasised the need for the media to avoid reporting any issues between the Saudi Arabian authorities and other countries.
The director, who stressed the need for journalists to adhere strictly to the ethics of the profession, expressed willingness of the organisation to offer clarification on issues that the media might seek explanation.
He, however, commended the Nigerian media for being responsive in reporting hajj activities in Saudi Arabia over the years.
”We are happy with Nigerian media for their conduct over the years. We are making some progress to ensure timely accreditation of the media.
”And we are ready to attach some of our personnel to guide the media on how to go about their reportage which is restricted to hajj activities.
”We have made it very clear to the Saudi Ministry for Hajj and Umrah to ensure that the media shun reporting politics and sectarian issues. They should also avoid reporting issues bordering on the relationship between Saudi Arabia and other countries.”
Algobishie pledged that the organisation would organise a capacity building workshop for NAHCON’s media team to broaden their knowledge and understanding of hajj and tourism issues in Saudi Arabia.
Earlier, the Deputy Coordinator, NAHCON Makkah Operations, Alhaji Shutti had assured that members of the media team would continue to abide by the ethics of journalism and the guidelines for reporting hajj activities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
He disclosed that NAHCON mobilised about 50 journalists from different media organisations, including those broadcasting in some local languages to report hajj activities.
”This is because the 95,000 Nigerians left their families and relations in Nigeria who will like to be hearing about their loved ones in Saudi Arabia and through the media, the commission will keep them abreast of happenings here.
” We assure you that the media will abide by the ethics of journalism and the Saudi Arabia rules and regulations.”
Hajj 2023: Saudi Arabia Warns Nigerian Journalists against Political, Sectarian Reportage
SOURCE: Thisday live
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