Stallion Times Media Service trains 40 journalists on disability reporting in Kogi
...says goal is to build disability-inclusive media practitioners to prompt government action
Stallion Times Media Service on Thursday trained practicing journalists drawn from print, electronic and online in Kogi state on disability reporting to boost their efficiency in giving adequate publicity to issues concerning the physically challenged within their environment.
The programme which was jointly organized by Stallion Times Media Services Ltd., the Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism, and the MacArthur Foundation, under the participatory governance Media Literacy project tagged “Get Involved, Dialogue and Improve (G-DRIP) and was implemented by Stallion Times Media Service in Kano and Kaduna states.
In his address, Isiyaku Ahmed, the Project Coordinator of the programme pointed out that the target is aimed at giving equal opportunities to both the able-bodied and the physically challenged in their respective reportage, adding that the training is necessary because of the common and negative stereotypes of persons with disabilities which have penetrated the public, the media, and the governance eco-system in Kogi and other states of Nigeria.
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He said, “The broad objectives among others are to promote issues-focused reporting on Disability to gain prominence in the mainstream media that would influence national action towards disability, to train journalists to report on PwDs issues for print, broadcast, and digital media, and to engage journalists to report on PwDs issues in ways that highlight their concerns on everyday happening”.
“With all the challenges the media faces in terms of funding and poor capacity, the media is in a unique position to reshape the public image and improve the living condition of persons with disabilities through research and proper reporting of critical issues that affect disabilities in Nigeria”.
“Our standpoint is that journalists have a role to play in the media space to professionally increase the representation of PwDs, and reinforce positive thinking rather than portray PwDs in stigmatizing ways, as objects of pity, or as mere Statistics”.
He emphasized that in view of this and in recognition of media, its contribution towards promoting Gender and Social Inclusion in governance and driving professionalism in the media space they have invited media practitioners to this knowledge transfer training, share experience, participate actively, learn and report these issues to make the state a better place for the minority and marginalized groups.
Isiyaku Ahmed pointed out that “The idea of this training is to provoke positive action that would amplify and make good issues of disability in Kogi state and Nigeria through investigative reports”.
“The goal is to build the capacity of media practitioners in disability-inclusive reporting with the hope that it will be brought to the forefront to prompt government action for improved service delivery”.
Also the resource person for the training, Anselem Okolo described the social responsibility role of journalists as very tasting and sensitive, saying “what you do as journalists is difficult, sensitive and that is why the job is not for lazy and unintelligent . What you do is very important to the society”.
“To succeed in journalism practice, you must be hardworking and ready to even do extra jobs”.
Speaking also, Adeiza Momoh-Jimoh, Kogi state Council Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists commended Stallion Times Media Service for the opportunity of training in critical area of reporting disability, as he assured them that the workshop will be useful for the participatory to impact on the lives of the physically challenged.