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UNESCO educates journalists on gender violence, investigative reporting 

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By Oginyi Nkechinyere, Abakaliki

The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation(UNESCO) has reiterated the need for greater professionalism in reportage of violence against women and girls in Nigeria as well as investigative journalism.

To enhance the capacity of Nigerian newsmen to achieve the European Union and United Nations Spotlight Initiative programme in bringing an end to violence against women and girls in Nigeria, journalists drawn from five states across the country and the federal capital territory, Abuja were underwent a week-long training on “Sensitive Reporting and Investigative Journalism on Gender-Based Violence” in Lagos State.

The Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Lagos State Council, Dr. Qasim Akinreti described the training as timely, noting that media in Nigeria focuse more on national issues such as politics, neglecting investigative journalism and gender-based violence. He urged journalists to bring in full developmental journalism by redirecting their reportage to communities and human-interest issues.

Adeola Ekine, Chairperson, NAWOJ, Lagos State Chapter, in her remarks, also urged UNESCO not to relent in its effort to support issues that affect women and girls because we are the nation builders.

“I appreciate the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for organising such forum to increase more awareness and promote the activeness of journalists on the thrust of the workshop ; which is Sensitive Investigative journalism on gender – sensitive reportage towards reducing or possibly eradicating the menace.

“I am optimistic that the knowledge that would be derived from the workshop would equip and enable the participants who happens to be members of the forth estate of the realm and agenda setters to champion constructive reports and editorials that would propel legislations that increases the access of women and girls to sexual reproductive health and rights and also eliminate violence against women.

According to Ekine, NAWOJ, as the female wing of the journalists union promises her unflinching support for UNESCO and other relevant bodies to fight against the cankerworm bedeviling our sisters, mothers and girl child.

Dr. Franca Attoh, an Associate professor at the Department of Sociology, faculty of social sciences University of Lagos, also stressed the importance of the training to Nigerian newsmen and media. According to the university don, journalism should be a veritable tool to impel development as journalists are watch dog that protects the citizenry from the antics of politician in the society.

Attoh who took the participants on “Journalism, Development and Ethical Issues”, noted that journalists need to be creative in the midst of challenges in order to overcome the hurdles in the profession stressing that the society looks forward to the media reportage for positive change.

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