58 journalists decorated champions of SDGs
After a two-day training on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recently, 58 journalists drawn from online, electronic and print media in Lagos State, were decorated as Champions of #Sustainable Development Goals and inducted into the Nigeria Network of Sustainable Development Journalists (NNSDJ).
Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotosho, decorated the participants with SDGs-Wheel pins. Represented by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusina Thorpe, Omotosho advised all participants to recommit themselves to the achievement of SDGs in Nigeria through their reportorial and editorial duties.
The representative of the Commissioner was decorated by the Head of Communication at the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Mr. Rotimi Ajayi.
In his speech, Country Director, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Ronald Kayanja, noted that human survival is at risk due to inequality, unemployment, violent extremism, natural resources depletion, climate change, increase in global temperature, poverty, disparities in opportunities and others.
He disclosed that the role of media is to enable the public make sense of global change and bring the sense of urgency. He stressed that there is need to demand accountability of government at all levels on the progress with implementation of its commitment to sustainability at national and local levels.
He advised journalists to “monitor progress the country, states and private sectors are making towards achieving, neutralising fake news and misinformation around sustainability issues by reporting facts.”
Prof. of Mass Communication, Lagos State University (LASU), Lai Oso, said the role of journalism in sustainable development could not be over emhasised.
He observed that the current system of reporting is event dependent, with reports of discreet and isolated occurrences, emphases on negativity, which leads to fear, apathy, helplessness and mistrust of the media and political authority.
According to him, Sustainability Journalism is the type that meets the information need of the present generation without compromising the future to meet its own needs.
He said Sustainable Journalism is holistic, comprehensive and multiperspectival in news presentation. He further said it is about giving voice to people that are marginalised, promoting dialogue and a change in architecture of speaking where people from top speak to those at the bottom.
Associate Professor, School of Communications, LASU, Jide Jimoh, said functions of the media could be summarised as surveillance of the environment, correlation of parts of the society, transmission of cultural heritage and entertainment.
He explained that the power the media wield is in its self-interest to deploy reporting on worthy causes. Media, Gender and Communications Researcher, Ganiyat Adenle, spoke on gender equality and SDGs, emphasised the need for acknowledging peculiarities in gender when reporting.
According to her, women are seen as the ones pushing gender equity because they bear the brunt of inequality. Adenle explained that both gender suffer physical, emotional, mental, financial, sexual abuse, discrimination, abandonment and others.
Stressing that all SDGs are dependent on gender, she cautioned journalists to be “aware of the complexities of reporting gender inequalities and the intersectionality of oppression.”
The event was organised by UNIC Nigeria and Media Awareness and Information For All Network (MAIN).
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