January 25, 2013

‘Fethullah Gulen's principles should be applied in journalism training'

Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen's principles of dialogue and tolerance were suggested as the values that can be used in the training of media reporters, according to the speakers of a panel session held in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, on Tuesday.

The session, titled “Role of the Media in Education in Nigeria,” was joined by 250 participants who discussed the principles of good journalism. Organized by the members of the Ufuk Dialogue Foundation and the Nigerian Turkish Nile University (NTNU), the panel session was attended by Turkish ambassador to Abuja, Rıfat Koksal, Today's Zaman columnist Abdülhamit Bilici, media representatives, academics, NGO representatives and students.

Speaking during the session, Bilici, who is also the Cihan news agency's general manager, said: “We recommend that Gülen's principles of dialogue, tolerance, coexistence and mutual understanding be applied in the training of media reporters as well as in the strategic procedures of reporting conflict issues.”

Bilici went on to say that the values of humanitarianism and a culture of peaceful coexistence would be promoted if Gülen's principles were used in training media practitioners. Commenting on the editorial line of the Zaman Media Group, Bilici said that the Zaman daily could be defined as adopting a “progressive conservatism” approach to news making.

“Irrespective of the motive, we condemn any terrorist act. We do not hide our Islamic identity but we do make a distinction between Islam and terrorism,” Bilici said, highlighting the position of the Zaman Media Group on terrorism and violence.

Another speaker, Chigozie Enwere, the head of the political science department at NTNU, said the media played a significant role in conflict resolution by promoting peace and harmonious relationships in politics. Enwere also made reference to the principles of Gülen in achieving a peaceful coexistence in politics.

Published on Today's Zaman, 24 January 2013, Thursday