WORKSHOP ON “GENDER REPORTING FOR MEDIA PROFESSIONALS by TECH HER FOR WOMEN IN TECHNOLOGY

Dorothy Njemanze facilitating during a session

TECH HER FOR WOMEN IN TECHNOLOGY IN PARTNERSHIP WITH PREMIUM TIMES, SUPPORTED BY FORD FOUNDATION, BRITISH COUNCIL AND EUROPEAN UNION.

PRESENTS: TWO DAYS WORKSHOP ON “GENDER REPORTING FOR MEDIA PROFESSIONALS” (……a reflective workshop on gender-balanced reporting for media professionals.) #TechHerGRFP

DATE: 28th and 29th February, 2020.

VENUE: GreatWood Hotel, Owerri.

DAY ONE:

The Gender Reporting For Professionals projects looks to tackle the challenge of effectively reporting gender-based stories in Nigeria. It tends to convene Journalists working across traditional and social media to co-create a set of tools that will be applicable by other Journalists not in the room. The Society knows that a gender is marginalized, and our culture is one of the biggest enablers. However, conversation around this, is very necessary as we must begin to sensitize and re-orientate our society, if we want a progressive society.

The training will be more of an experiential way of learning and interaction… Kawthar Ahmed.

PANELISTS:

Ummi Bukar (Ummi is a gender rights activist who specializes in media for development among others. She is the founder of PAGED Initiative).

Dorothy Njemanze (Dorothy is an actress/producer/OAP/Events Compere, humanitarian, investigative journalists among others and founder of the Dorothy Njemanze Foundation).

Lolade Nwanze (Lolade is a trained journalist, media trainer and editor, with thirteen years of experience across print, Tv and digital. Currently, she acts as head of operations and editorial manager for the digital division of TheGuardian Nigeria).

Session Moderated by Kawthar Ahmed (Kawthar is a gender equality advocate and dismantling of the Patriarchy, a Ceramic Artist and sometimes dabbles into web development. She was a producer at HalTV Africa, also worked as Digital Media Manager at Arden and Newton, she has also worked with The Nerve Africa among others).

UMMI BUKAR:

Using Media for advocacy and community development to ensure the grass-root benefit from gender development. Gender must be mainstream in everything, if we want to achieve development. Needs are gender related and a lot of times we assign a problem/challenge to one gender. People tend to get very defensive when gender issues are mentioned, meanwhile, the real issues are neglected at the long-run.

Ummi Bukar facilitating during a session

Gender Reporting: is simply “Inclusion”, making sure that your report is all inclusive and gender sensitive. It is from selection process that disparity starts. “To be Gender Sensitive, is to be Inclusive”.

It is super difficult to get women to participate and get involve. A lot of the problem is that, in our society, “Women are raised to be seen, not to be heard”. IT IS THE JOB OF THE JOURNALISTS TO ENSURE A BALANCED REPORT AND GET WOMEN ENGAGED. We must find what works; we should not forget that our society is designed and structured for men. The 9-5 work fits a man’s needs, but for a woman, she must fight double of her time to fit the 9-5 work structure. There is a Statistic, that shows that “only 25% of Journalists in Nigeria are women”. Gender discrimination also affects men, whether you talk about female issues like female mutilation etc . Every topic is a woman’s topic and every topic are men’s topic. “TO BE GENDER SENSITIVE IN REPORTING, WE HAVE TO BE AWARE OF OUR (OWN) GENDER BAISES”.

INTERACTIVE SESSION WITH PARTICIPANTS: The truth is that, most times, women refuse to talk, but it is important to note, that, the fact that one person refuse to talk, you can engage another person by way of interaction. For some Media stations (Radio station in port harcourt for instance), there is a dedicated special line for women, to enable them to participate in the programme or conversation. Sensitization and re-orientation should be done to encourage women voice out and participate or find the need to. Re-orientating women to come out of shame or their shelves to speak out.

SOCIAL CONDITIONING, how Societal norms affects people (particularly women) in speaking out? (Question from the Moderator to Dorothy Njemanze).

DOROTHY NJEMANZE:

 I am a human-being first, before being a woman. As human-being, we differ from person to person. Every woman is different from one another, and it cut across different region, tribes etc, but we are all guided by the Law. “WOMEN ARE HUMAN BIENG FIRST, AND ALL WOMEN ARE NOT THE SAME”. “Most women do not talk, because, they have been told, their opinion doesn’t matter”. “THE MEDIA SPACE IS A TABLE FOR PROJECTING WOMEN ISSUES”. A MUST WATCH, DOCUMENTARY ON “SILENT TEARS”. “Is not that women don’t want to talk, but they don’t know how to talk”. A lot of Social Conditioning limits people (especially women) from aspiring high. “WE CAN FIX SOCIAL CONDITIONING THROUGH OUR WORK AS MEDIA PRACTITIONERS”.

TERMS USED IN REPORTING GENDER SENSITIVE ISSUES (Question from the Moderator to Ummi Bukar and Dorothy Njemanze).

A lot of the times, we work against the report we make, because of the terms we used. For example, you want to interview an abused person, you start y saying, “As a victim of Rape, can you share your experience?”, the person/victim will close up, because of the term you used “Victim”, why not say “As a Survival of Rape, can you share your experience?”, the person will willingly share. Don’t judge while reporting. Proper description helps in reporting. If you are describing, describe both genders. “What people read on Media is what shapes the Society, so as a serious Media practitioner, get your headlines right”. Ummi Bukar.

Women are pre-conditioned not to talk, but as a Reporter, it is your duty to get them to talk. We interact with women all the time but can bring that informal ways of interaction to our work and get women to talk.

Good people are Males and Females, bad people are males and females. We need to open our society with our work as Media practitioners. Dorothy Njemanze.

Research before you use terms in reporting. “Always research before reporting”. Dorothy Njemanze

We need to go back and re-examine our stories, before we report.. Ummi Bukar.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF SGBV? (Question from the Moderator to Lolade Nwanze).

Lolade Nwanze sharing her thoughts on SGBV

LOLADE NWANZE:

Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV): It is the way we report SGBV that will show if people will take it seriously or not. SGBV; “Women Rights are Human Rights”. “PEOPLE NEED TO SEE MORE OF WOMEN IN MEDIA NOT JUST HEAR THEIR VOICES ON AIR”. TAKE EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO INJECT WOMEN IN YOUR STORIES. “Women should be at the table to make decisions for better reporting”. Sometimes, Gender Sensitive issues that affects Minors are not well reported; The protection of the Minor involved in reporting a story is more important than the story. “Humanized victims don’t Objectify them, while reporting. “Anytime you are reporting a Crime, stay with the story, don’t eulogize it”. Note: Minimize the use of the word “ALLEGEDLY”, it waters down the story and what it communicates to the reader, is to take the story with a pitch of the salt”. Don’t allege everything. 

“FACT-CHECKING aids good Reporting”… Lolade Nwanze.

GROUP SESSION:

Group session with Participants

Case study of the Documentary ‘SILENT TEARS” (The torture of the Nigerian Police and trauma of the survivals of the Abuja Raid).

“IF WE DON’T DO DUE-DIIGENCE AS MEDIA PRACTITIONERS, WE WILL NOT GET THE NECCESSARY DETAILS FOR OUR WORK”.. Dorothy Njemanze.

“We need to consistently look at, what are the facts of the matters, otherwise, we will be reporting the unneedful”. “The adequacies and inadequacies in the system depends on how you are reporting”.. Dorothy Njemanze.

DAY TWO:

GENDER AND ETHICAL REPORTING:

LOLADE NWANZE:

Reputation of Journalist; every single person that contributes to the business of News has a reputation in the bucket. Bloggers for instance, need to go for some scratch course training at Media Institutes. As Journalists, the ethics of the profession is what shows the difference between the profession and bloggers. Once upon a time, Viewers go for news, but now the news is taken to the viewers. Media has since democratized.

Fact-checking is also a selling point of traditional media. Bloggers don’t fact-check.  Journalism also is about deadlines. The reputation of journalists is dented by non-journalists. It now behooves on journalists to standout in the way they practice. JOURNALISTS WILL PROVE THEIR PROFESSIONALISM BASE ON THE ANGLE/APPROACH OF REPORTING.

“Fake News”: The term fake news was not popular, before President Trump’s administration. This phenomenon Trump made it popular and everything and everywhere is fake news. “NEWS BY ITS NATURE IS TRUE, IF IT IS NOT NEWS, IT IS NOT TRUE; SO, HOW COME, WE SAY FAKE-NEWS, WHEN FAKE NEWS BY ITS EXISTENCE IS NOT TRUE. Fake News; it’s misinformation/dis-information. Again, is the Media that has made the term popular. The role of Journalists has evolved.

Credibility is the edge Traditional Media has over Social Media/Blogging. “NEWS IS SOMETHING PEOPLE CAN USE, IF PEOPLE CAN’T USE IT, THEN WHAT IS THE ESSENCE”. You can publish a photograph and it becomes a story. Most Journalists are pressed for time and hardly fact-check their reportage. “ENSURE SUPPORTING IMAGES ARE CONTRIBUTORY TO THE REPORTAGE”. IN REPORTING RAPE INCIDENT, FOCUS THE REPORT AND IMAGE ON THE PERPETRATORS. “MINOR PROTECTION IN REPORTING IS MAJOR”. Journalists need to take responsibility on the subject of their story.

“THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD, IF WE ALL USE OUR PLATFORMS AS A VOICE TO THESE INJUSTICES IN THE SOCIETY, IT WILL GO A LONG WAY. As Journalists, our Job is to educate, inform and entertain the public. Let’s focus on trying to reduce the occurrence of vices in the society. Lolade Nwanze.

“YOUR STORIES GIVES LIFE TO MANY AND YOUR STORY STORIES ASO TAKE LIFE FROM MANY”. Dorothy Njemanze.

“If you don’t know for fact, you won’t know to do for sure”.. Dorothy Njemanze.

“There are no resources by Government to manage/man sexual, mental and domestic violence”. Unfortunately, we have a rotten system that we are up to. The Government as a rotten system have a paid Media they work with. Victim’s Protection and Witness Protection does not exist in Nigeria. Dorothy Njemanze.

“THE HALLMARK OF WRITING, IS IN KEEPING IT SHORT AND SIMPLE”.. Lolade Nwanze.

Group Photograph

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