Soyinka Centre set to give gender reporting a nudge

Ms. Motunrayo Alaka

A training programme to give expanded role to women as investigative reporters in the country is the focus of a collaboration between the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism [WSCIJ] and the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Nigeria.

Dubbed the “Report Women!” project, the programme, according to Coordinator of WSCIJ, Ms. Motunrayo Alaka, will also help “increase and improve the reportage of girls and women in the Nigerian media.”

“Report Women! Is planned to focus on major issues of access and abuse, ranging from education, to health care, to violence, and early marriage, among others,” Ms. Alaka said in a statement in Lagos Friday.

“The project seeks to use the tool of investigative reporting to highlight these issues, even as it examines the role of religion in the girl child and woman’s rights trajectory” she explained.

According to her, the “Report Women! project started in May 2014 with a one-month media monitoring of the reportage of girls and women in seven Nigerian newspapers,” adding that  “It will continue with a meeting of stakeholders on Thursday 7 August 2014 in Lagos.”

After the meeting in Lagos, Ms. Alaka said, “investigative journalism trainings aimed at honing participants’ skills on the reportage of girls and women issues will hold in Abuja, Ekiti, and Cross River States,” and this will also be followed by the administration of small grants to shortlisted journalists to investigate and write issue-based stories on girls and women, she added.

The project, which is expected to run till April 2015, will also include a Report Women award, the production of an investigative documentary, and the publication of a reporter’s resource guide on reporting girls and women.

Ms. Alaka also said the project will have online campaign on the Centre’s social media platforms especially its Twitter handle – using the hashtag #ReportWomen.

Report Women! is a modest attempt towards promoting girls’ and women’s rights as human rights, and ensuring a more gender-balanced society through the media.

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