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NGO tasks journalists on development, gender reporting

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An NGO, Media and Gender Enlightenment Initiative (MEGEIN)hasurged Journalists in Kaduna state to focus their reportage on gender and development issues for the benefit of communities.

Hajiya Jamila Dahiru, initiator of MEGEIN made the appeal at a one-day training for members of the Correspondents’Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kaduna Council.

Dahiru, a Lecturer at the Mass Communication Department, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, said while women are more involved in the development of the home and communities, their contributions always go unnoticed.

She also advocated for more women participation in Journalism practice in general and agriculture reporting where there are more women farmers than men.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the event was attended by more than 30 members of the chapel, was organized in collaboration with World Association for Christian Communication, with a topic ‘Mainstreaming Gender Issues in Land Right and Agricultural Development’.

Dahiru said that the Call became necessary because of the glaring neglect of community development issues in the content of most Media organizations in Kaduna State and the country.

She said an analysis of the content of some selected media organisations across Nigeria, including broadcast and newspapers showed that gender and development issues were least among issues journalists focused on.

“It also shows that most of the reporters who focus on land, agriculture are male in spite of the fact that Agriculture and land right issues affect women more.

“Findings from that research shows that, 67 percent of reporters covering Agriculture and land rights issues are more male than female while the contributors are more of women involved in farming”.

According to her, even on sources of information, people look forward more to males than women as their sources of information.

She identified religious and cultural barriers as major challenges faced by women when it comes to speaking on issues regarding agriculture and community development.

“Other reasons why women are being sidelined in the media profession could be attributed to renumeration and finance, lack of protection and support from their various media organizations.

She called on women to be more concerned on issues of development and empowering one another for the benefit of the society.

“And we have to do it within our quota using our available resources and expertise. “she said

She, therefore, advised journalists not to shy away from their responsibility, adding that, there is nothing stopping them from being development journalists covering agriculture and land issues.

Dahiru urged government to do more on security and support journalists to carry out their responsibilities more diligently.

In his remarks, the Chairman, Correspondents Chapel, Midat Joseph reiterated the chapel’s commitment in partnering with the NGO to move the chapel forward.

He called on the correspondents to rise up to their responsibilities as ambassadors of their respective media organisations in the State.

He advised journalists to choose relevant development issues as areas to focus on while in the practice.

Malam Garba Mohammed, former chairman of the NUJ kaduna State council tasked journalists to “think out of the box” and be more professional in their reportage.

Edited by: Shuaib Sadiq/ Tukur Muntari.

(NAN)

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