A non-governmental organisation, Center for Journalism Innovation and Development, CJID has called for the need to strengthen the media with the capacity and resources it requires to effectively report cases of Gender-based Violence, GBV and ensure justice for survivors.
The acting Executive Director, of the Center, Dr. Tobi Oluwatola made the call in Abuja, at the launch of a Gender-Based Violence Reporting Handbook as part of events to mark the 2022 International Women’s Day.
Dr, Oluwatola explained that it was fundamental to enlighten the media on their roles in shaping the opinions of the public in understanding the implications of gender-based violence on the victims and the society through sustained and follow-up reportage.
“Our responsibility is that of strengthening the media, educating the media with the resources it requires to do its job in demanding accountability of all the people that have powers to do about GBV so that we can build a democracy that is inclusive and delivering the values of sustainable development.” He said
In a keynote address, the Founding Director of Women Advocates Research Development Center, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi said the media play a critical role in counteracting myths and outdated attitudes that may persist on the issue of GBV and urged the media to prioritize the integrity of survivors in their reportage.
“The manner in which the media reports gender-based violence can determine the degree of importance the public and policymakers accord the issue, and how solutions are rallied. However, any efforts to document GBV for the purposes of media reporting must first prioritize survivors’ safety and best interests.” She said
The Reviewer of the handbook and a lecturer department of Mass Communication, Lagos State, Dr. Ganiyat Tijani-Adenle said the handbook was a veritable resource that would empower journalists with specialised knowledge on effective ways to report issues of Gender-Based violence.
The Executive Director, International Society of media and public Health, Mrs. Moji Makanjuola advised journalists to frequently report on issues of GBV to enact a national consciousness and focus on other categories of GBV aside from rape.
Reporting by Azizatu Sani, editing by Daniel Adejo.