From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Ace broadcaster and Chief Executive Officer, Women Radio 91.7 FM, Toun Okewale Sonaiya, has called on journalists and media outfits to research women who are doing well in private and public sectors and report their successes until something good comes out.
The media owner who spoke at the sideline of a two-day media training for political reporters held at a hotel in Kaduna and organised by her media outfit with support from the Canadian Government and UNWomen expressed concern over the poor visibility of women in Nigerian media space when compared with that of men.
According to her, journalists and media houses oftentimes complain that a sizeable number of women are not accessible due to poor self-esteem, societal and cultural issues, poor confidence and trust in the media among others sued for research on them and showcase their achievements because a lot of them are doing well in their respective callings.
Specifically, The Ogun state-born media executive and CEO of the only women-oriented terrestrial broadcasting station in Nigeria appealed to colleagues to report female candidates who will be contesting elective positions in the 2023 general elections.
“We want us to report women candidature, candidates and women in leadership more. We are not saying the media has not been doing this, we just want them to do more.
“We read more negative stories about women than good ones. We would encourage you to sink in all the knowledge our facilitators have imbued in you during this two-day capacity-building training.
“At the end of the day, we want you to report women more because a lot of them are doing well. Let’s research on women and report those good things they are doing”, she said.
Taking the participating journalists drawn from different media outfits in Kaduna through a paper titled; “Positive Portrayal of Women in Politics and Leadership Positions by the Media”, a development expert, Mrs Esther Hadiza Ijeaku corroborated Toun’s earlier position on equality and fairness in the provision of opportunities for women and men in media space.
On his part, a media trainer, Dr. Ma’ji Peter highlighted the structure and political system, cultural perception, gender stereotypes, mindset, family expectation and life choices as some of the barriers limiting women in leadership and politics to make more impacting Nigeria’s sociopolitical and socioeconomic environments, urging media practitioners to help in overcoming these barriers through their reportage.
One of the participants at the training, Mr Sola Ojo of The Sun Newspapers said: “my organisation, The Sun Newspapers has been doing very well when it comes to showcasing women’s achievements across all sectors of the economy through dedicated pages and columns.
“As a development journalist, I have also been reporting women which my organisation has been graciously publishing. But then, the largest room, they say, is the room for improvement and that is exactly what I will be done forthwith.
“I will try as much as possible to give equal visibility to the men and women in my news, feature analysis and what have you so I can keep reporting her until some good happens.”