Media training workshop on gender sensitive reporting

June 21 - July 2, 2010
at UNIFEM, Lisco Building, Mamba Point, Monrovia, Liberia
organized by UNIFEM
Lead trainer: Bettina Ambach

There is an endemic problem of marginalization of women and girls in Liberia which may in part be attributable to the lack of media sensitivity to coverage of their issues.

Despite policies, programmes and strategies by the government of Liberia to bridge the gender gap, there is still a vast body of evidence that supports the fact that there is an unfair and inequitable distribution of jobs, education opportunities and support systems to the disadvantage of women and girls.

Women and girls are not provided or given the same level of respect as their male counterparts when their issues are reported in the media, and the media itself seems ill equipped or disinterested in fully understanding the impact of some of its reportage on issues of Sexual and Gender Based Violence. Many of the reports often skim the surface of the underlying issues that lead to the problem. Impartial information and balanced reporting are crucial instruments in ensuring mutual respect, understanding and tolerance for both sexes.

There needs to be a more sustained and analytical look through the media lens at issues such as culture, politics, myths that affect opinion and lead to bias, the impact of inherited patriarchal systems, and the root causes of gender insensitivity to understand gender within the Liberian context.

In a bid to promote gender responsive reporting and strengthening of institutional mechanisms and accountability, UNIFEM seeks a consultant to build the capacity of journalists including from media institutions, mentor select trained journalists and institute mechanisms of incentives and accountability. The expected number of journalists to benefit from these interventions is twenty (20), from electronic and print media, at mid level in their organizations, and with at least 5 years of working experience. They must be responsible for content of broadcast or publication in their respective organizations.

The expected outputs from this project are:

Participants: 16 journalists from both electronic and print media, with at least five years of working experience, and holding mid level functions in their organisations. The journalists must be currently working in the profession, and be responsible for content of broadcast or publication in their specific media house.

Methodology: Based on an interactive hands-on concept: favouring brief inputs, discussions, practical exercises, individual and group work.

Field work and on the job mentoring.

It is envisaged that at the end of the training the print media representatives will write a gender-sensitive report, the radio and television journalists will produce a report which could be broadcast in their respective media houses.

Structure: 1st day: Introduction into “What is gender sensitive reporting?”
2nd and 3rd day: Gender training
4th day: Role of the media in gender mainstreaming;
How to review a code of ethics from a gender perspective?
5th day: Basic journalistic skills: Interview training and journalistic formats;
Preparation for field trip (group work): which story to choose, what kind of questions to ask, whom to ask?
6th to 9th day: 4 groups à 5 participants go off to a community setting to prepare their report. Lead trainer will do on site mentoring.
10th and 11th day: Lead trainer will supervise the process of writing and producing.
12th day: Convene the 20 participants back to the initial workshop setting, presentation of reports, evaluation, establishment of network.
A few months later: Follow up measures through internet or short refresher training.

List of media institutions invited to workshop on gender sensitive reporting

1. The News
2. The Heritage
3. The New Dawn
4. Daily Observer
5. The Chronicle
6. The Analyst
7. The Informer
8. The New Republic

Radio Stations
9. Radio Veritas 97.6
10. Star Radio 104.0
11. ELBC FM 99.9 (Liberia Broadcasting Corporation)
12. Love FM 105
13. LWDR (Liberian Women Democracy Radio)

TV stations

14. Truth FM / Real TV
15. Power TV
16. Sky TV