UNFPA emphasises importance of media toward ending GBV, HTPs

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The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has emphasised the importance of the media toward ending Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Harmful Traditional Practices (HTPs) through reportage.

The emphasis was made by Erika Goldson, the Fund’s Deputy Country Representative in Nigeria, during a two-day capacity building training for some journalists from the print and electronic media on “How to Write Sensitive Articles on GBV and COVID-19” in Abuja on Thursday.

Goldson, who said that the Fund would continue to partner the media in the fight against GBV and harmful practices especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, added that the training would facilitate responsive reportage of GBV issues and others.

She outlined the objectives of the training to include increased awareness on how COVID-19 aggravated incidences of GBV and harmful practices in societies.

She added that the training was also aimed at encouraging the media to prioritise survivors’ rights to dignity, privacy, confidentiality and safety in their reportage.

She stressed the need for the media to ensure the security and protection of survivors from harm or retribution when reporting.

The deputy country representative explained that the training would enhance the role of the media in lobbying for access to healthcare services.

According to her, it will also make the media to understand UNFPA’s key role in GBV globally and in Nigeria, and the long-term support for the transformative goal of ending GBV and other harmful practices in the country.

She said that the media had been an important medium through which the UNFPA could make its works visible and share the stories of its beneficiaries.

The UNFPA official noted that media reportage of GBV cases was capable of facilitating greater advocacy with stakeholders such as decision makers and communities to ensure the protection of survivors and those at risk.

She added that “UNFPA wants to re-establish its commitment to partners that every penny spent on programme activities will have visibility from the media to inform our donors and the public.”

Mr Senator Iroegbu, the workshop Facilitator, a Publisher and a Journalist, made presentation on “How to Write Good Reports and knowing the Dos and Don’ts in Writing.”

He advised the journalists to avoid tautology and vague stories.

Mr Dashe Dasogot, the UNFPA M&E Specialist, who spoke on “How to Use Data in Reporting”, encouraged the use of official government accepted data to buttress a point in a story.

He identified sources of data, collected and analysed by government to include the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) conducted by the National Population Commission (NPC) in 2018, and the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), which could be accessed on the platform of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Other sources, he said, were reports and documents on the prevalence of HIV/AIDS at the state level, noting that “using data from such sources gives credence to your reports because they are official and acceptable by policy makers.

“So, do not just write narratives; use figures to show trend of events, compare variations to give your copies authenticity.”

Other presentations at the training included an overview of UNFPA transformational goals, Female Genital Mutilation Issues and Reportage, as well as GBV and the UN Basket Fund Response.

The journalists, drawn from different government and private media organisations, also brainstormed on how to write good human angle stories on GBV, COVID-19 pandemic and other health issues. (NAN)

– Nov. 13, 2020 @ 9:19 GMT |

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