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Female journalists charged to up the ante in SGBV reporting

By Obinna Nwaoku, Port Harcourt
14 September 2021   |   3:02 am
Female journalists have been charged to up the ante in career development through continuous education. They were also urged to give more attention to issues of Sexual and Gender Base Violence ...

Participants at the FRLP training in Port Harcourt, Rivers State

Female journalists have been charged to up the ante in career development through continuous education. They were also urged to give more attention to issues of Sexual and Gender Base Violence (SGBV) with the aim of eliminating the growing violence against women in private and public life.

The Executive Director of Media Career Development Network, Mr. Lekan Otufodunrin, gave the charge during the launch of ‘Report Women Leadership Project’ of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Centre (WSCIJ), organised by its 2021 FRLP Cohort, Mrs. Ann Godwin.

The training was held at the Nigerian Union of Journalists’ Complex, on Moscow Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Otufodunrin, who spoke virtually, further urged the reporters to be focused and determined so as to grow to the desired height in the profession.

He said, “Apart from cash, the currency of this age is knowledge and you need to keep learning to ensure growth in whatever you do. To learn, you need to desire new knowledge and be willing to unlearn some of the old stuff that can be a clog in your wheel of progress. Your growth in whatever you are doing should at least be steady if it is not rapid for you to know you are making progress.”

He continued, “Reporters should have a very clear and articulated career mission statement and consciously check to ensure that they get whatever they want from their career.”

Otufodunrin urged the participants to put to practice what they have acquired from the training as they aspire to be at the apex of the profession.

On her part, the organiser of the training, Mrs. Godwin, said she was spurred to impart what she learnt during her FRLP training on her colleagues in the state to enable them work together and give more voice to issues of SGBV.

She said, “Violence against women is steadily on the rise and women are not given the required voice and space to explore their potential despite their significant role in the society and nation building. Women deserve to be given special attention and voice to enable them contribute immensely to the society.”

Mrs. Godwin charged the female journalists not to limit themselves in the profession but to step up and build their professional careers by utilising what they learnt at seminars, trainings and workshops. She urged participants to develop the ‘I can do spirit’, by being thorough, disciplined, outspoken and unbiased in their reportage.

“Step-up by working hard, do more investigative stories and network with colleagues to cross more frontiers in the profession,” she added

Also speaking, the Acting Chairperson of the International Federation of Female Lawyers (FIDA) Rivers State, Mrs. Nnenna Igbokwe, lamented the increasing rate of gender base violence in the state.

She urged female reporters to collaborate with FIDA and work relentlessly to ensure that the issues are brought to the barest minimum.
Similarly, Chairperson Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Rivers State chapter, Mrs. Susan Serekara-Nwikhana, called on participants to step up their games and aspire to be the best in the pen profession.

Also speaking, Coordinator Centre for Basic Rights Protection and Accountability Campaign, Mr. Prince Wiro, encouraged female journalists to be more intentional in reporting issues that concern women.

Participants at the training described it as a wake up call for female journalists to be more sensitive in reporting sexual based violence plaguing many homes.

Two of the participants Mrs. Ngozi Anosike and Mrs. Anita Ogonna expressed delight over the training, stating that it re-awoken their passion for journalism and need to network with other colleagues in the profession to be at the apex of journalism. Newsmen drawn from the print, electronic and social media, attended the training.

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