Journalists urged to mainstream gender in reporting

JOURNALISTS in the country have been urged to narrow gender reporting gap, through giving priority to stories that affect women and children.

This call was made at the evaluation workshop on gender reporting after a media survey conducted by Tanzania Media Women Association (TAMWA – Zanzibar).

The one-day training that brought together some editors and senior journalists was geared toward building capacities to effectively and efficiently report on women and gender issues.

A survey was carried out in some print media by Ms Huwaida Nassor Mohd and Ms Asya Hassan Bakar, focused on stories covered between January and March this year, looking at specific indicators such as voice of the victims and use of data.

“It was an interesting survey, we identified a considerable gap in gender reporting that need to be addressed by editors and journalists including balance of stories,” said Ms Mohd, senior journalist from Assalaam radio.

She added that gender reporting by highlighting sexual violence could lead to positive changes in the society.

Opening the evaluation workshop, the TAMWA-Zanzibar Director, Dr Mzuri Issa Ali, said that journalists must put emphasis to expand gender coverage to bring about change in the society.

“We need to have a strategy in the media to voice women and children concerns,” Dr Ali said.

“Having gender policy and improved laws in the media houses can help to improve gender reporting,” Ms Ali told journalists and editors that they need to work closely with policy makers and the government to promote the rights of children and women.

Research Consultant and Facilitator Dr Salum Suleiman Ali expressed that there were still gaps in the quality of information including data analysis, compliance with policies, laws and international agreements, continuity of information or follow-ups and impact stories.

“Journalists should study to be capable of writing and publishing quality stories with impact,” said Dr Ali.

Gender Reporting Project Coordinator Ms Sophia Ngalapi said that TAMWA- Zanzibar is implementing the project with support from UNESCO, saying she is looking forward to more gender reporting.

She said that the survey featured in the newspaper Zanzibar Leo, Nipashe, HabariLeo and radios:  ZBC radio (Mawio morning programme), Zenji FM, Assalam FM and Furaha FM.

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