Stakeholders task journalists on disability inclusive content, reporting
Media organisations and practitioners have been urged to increase disability-inclusive content in their reportage, due to their vital roles in mirroring society and shaping its culture.
The appeal was made at a virtual disability-inclusive reporting training organised by Project Enable Africa in partnership with the United States Consulate, Lagos.
Speaking at the webinar, Public Affairs Officer, the United States Consulate, Lagos, Stephen Ibelli, said the society is defined mainly by how it treats its poorest populace and those in need of help.
According to him: “Disability right is an important part of human right and the United States Government is committed to promoting it.”
He dwelt on the need for accessibility to public facilities as an integral part of promoting inclusion.
“The Nigerian Disability Act is a great base to build on, however, there is so much work to be done, towards having an inclusive society,” Ibelli said.
Executive Director, Centre for Citizens With Disabilities, David Anyaele, stressed the need for accurate reporting of disability issues in the media.
He noted that over the years, wrong words, which tend to increase discrimination and stereotypes, have flooded the media spaces.
He urged reporters to be mindful of the usage of words when reporting.
“It is better to refer to us as Persons With Disabilities, or physically challenged as opposed to saying crippled,” he said.
Anyaele also drew the attention of the media organisations to the Nigerian Disability Act and the need for implementation.
Executive Director, Project Enable Africa, Olusola Owonikoko, said “the ultimate goal of the project is to build the capacity of media organisations across Nigeria in disability-inclusive reporting. Ultimately, we will create a Media for Disability-inclusive Reporting Network (DIREN), comprising of traditional, print, and new media practitioners who will champion disability mainstreaming in the media sector.”