By; TINA PHINEAS, Yola
Concerned over the increasing cases of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) in Nigeria, the Spotlight Intiative in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Information with support/funding from European Union EU and the United Nations UN, has kicked off a Four-day training programme for journalists on Ethical Reporting, Media Advocacy and Solutions journalism in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.
Khadijah Ibrahim Nuhu, the Joint EU-UN Spotlight Initiative Communications Coordinator at UNICEF, said that it was important for journalists to move beyond reportage of incidences of violence against women and girls and begin to do investigative journalism, be more interested in the issue of VAWGs through advocacy and solutions journalism.
Nuhu pointed out that cases of VAWG was on the increase globally up from the previous quota of 2021, hence the need for journalist to deepen their roles in promoting an end to Violence Against Women and Girls in Adamawa and Nigeria as a whole.
She commended journalists for doing a good job in reporting the incidences, however, stressed the need to go beyond that to stop the violence from happening again.
“What we are really doing from the beginning of this year is deepening our engagement with the media not just inviting journalist to cover events, but to really get them to understand and remember the ethics of the profession, to engage in advocacy and solutions journalism and solve the problems”, Nuhu stated..
The Spotlight Communication Coordinator says people look up to media as the fourth estate of the realm and trust all that came out from media, hence the need for them to be engaged on how to contribute their quota to eliminate VAWG in the society.
Earlier, the State commissioner for Women Affairs, Hajiya Lami Ahmad urged media practitioners in the state to avoid reports that promote stigmatization of victims, stressing that such reports usually exposed the victims/survivors to discriminations and affects the ongoing efforts to bring the menace to an end.
The Commissioner who is represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry Saso Benco Ali expressed concerned over how some journalists report issues of VAWGs to exposed the victims to stigmatization and further traumatized them.
Such reports she said discourage them from opening up whenever they were abused/assaulted.
While describing the training as timely given the rising indices, the Commissioner challenged journalists to intensify efforts in exposing incidents of VAWG so as to bring the menace to an end.
Ahmad also commended EU/UN for their tireless efforts and commitments to tackled this challenges and other humanitarian interventions to the people and assured them of state government readiness to partner with them in the implementation of their programmes for the benefits of humanity.