Gender Inclusive Reporting: Traveling the road untravelled

After attending a workshop in Buea on August 11th and 12th 2022 on gender inclusive reporting, most of the participants being journalists selected from the crisis hit regions; Northwest and Southwest regions, decided to begin telling under-reported stories while shifting the narrative.

We often tell stories about what makes news but we forget to know that there is a road not well travelled, especially with telling stories from within an armed conflict setting. Stories we often neglect and pitch only those which editors are probably tired of editing.

Stories centered arround the crisis will always carry content of people killed, bloodshed or hunger. Journalists practicing and living in these regions with this kind of setting, live the effects of the armed conflict everyday and can best tell their stories.

According to Comfort Mussa while chatting with journalists during the training, resolved that there is so much information and sound byte arround the topic of the armed conflict that hasn't been revealed yet.

"The human face of the war is not seen, the real stories of the armed conflict hasn't been told. Journalism is a great tool to make this happen, if we don't, it will all be noise making. Wage peace as a weapon of war, wage peace through your reporting. Amplify voices of the voiceless, mainstream gender in conflict reporting". Comfort Mussa, CEO/Coordinator Sisterspeak237.

According to her, though women and children are vulnerable groups in times of crisis, persons with disabilities also have stories to tell. Women also are becoming solutions, it depends on how journalists tell stories that are dignifying, stories that are impactful on policy.

The observation made by Njodzefe Nestor, a researcher and fascilitator at the workshop, holds that most times the way journalists report, it may have little or no effect on policy change. He expansiated on the frequency at which print in Cameroon carry gender inclusive reporting.

"Persons with disabilities constitute atleast 15% of the world's population, so not reporting on them means we are actually leaving 15 % of the world's population ".

It is inline with encouraging a shift in reporting style that Martin-strub, the Ambassador of Switzerland to Cameroon supports journalists through sisterspeak237 to tilt towards gender Inclusive reporting.

Embarking on gender inclusive reporting is about being the voice of the voiceless, finding the appropriate words to use when reporting on persons with disabilities, while living within an armed conflict region.

 By Ndefru Melanie


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