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Monday, 17 June 2013 00:00
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Captain Mshelia cautions journalists on sensationalism in aviation reportage

Chief Executive of new entrants, WestLink Airlines, Captain Ibrahim Mshelia has advised journalists to avoid sensationalism in the reportage of the aviation industry as this has a far reaching negative effect on the industry.

Mshelia made this known while speaking on the Role of Journalism in Enhancing Civil Aviation in Nigeria at the just concluded 19th League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) seminar themed: Curbing Emerging Security Challenges
The. WestLink CEO said there is a critical commonality between aviation and journalism,which is communication and without which neither can strive.

According to him, aviation, being the most regulated business in the world today, heavily depends on effective and meaningful communication to thrive stating further that the two must be harmonized effectively in order to grow the Nigerian aviation sector to its full potential.

He submitted that most times the kind of communication passed to the public through the media most times are taken from the negative light and distort facts at times to sell the paper.

He called on the media to educate themselves well on any information that they wish to send out and also disseminate balanced information always.

He said,"In reporting aviation, headlines should be cast with absolute caution and not leave any ambiguity or room for guess work. It's devastating to the growth of the industry if the flying public are always greeted with scary news of looming danger in travelling by air."

"At this juncture, let me consider some typical news headlines that are not only destructive but anti-progress as far as the growth of civil aviation in Nigeria is concerned.
“95 Nigerians cheat death as xxx airline makes emergency Landing.105 escape death as aircraft develops engine problem. Pilot saves 56 from early grave."  

According to him, the above captions will catch the eye of everyone who can read but aviation, both in Nigeria and abroad, it is normal to have an engine problems and this does not necessarily translate to imminent danger, but only caution.

" Therefore, it amounts to an overkill to try to dramatize this fact. The effect is public fear, and if the public is afraid and are continuously frightened with such headlines, it impacts negatively on the growth of airlines," He submitted.

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