By Elijah Ugani
The United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA) has concluded a one day seminar for reporters drawn from the print, electronic and online media in preparation for the “Wise-Up Campaign” scheduled to hold from December 1st to 31st 2016.
The event was held at the conference room of the UNFPA office with 20 reporters in attendance drawn from the electronic, print and online media.
Declaring the event which held at the conference room of the UNFPA office open, the Head of Office and Program Coordinator, UNFPA Cross River State, Mr. Kenneth Ehouzou welcomed participants and posited that UN believes communication plays pivotal role in any program or project.
Ehouzou stressed that “for a woman not to want pregnancy, she needs to be sensitized, empowered, cared for and necessary precaution taken to avert violation of her rights. We need the support of the media to give correct information to the people, what will cost us to retrieve the information will be much demanding.” he added.
The resource person, Hajia Kori who is also the country’s Media Associate for UNFPA who spoke on “Effective Reporting and Communications; Accompanying Changes” stressed that “for effective reporting and communication, a report must stand out in the crowd which entails that a report must be succinct and specific, credible and accurate, evidence based and factual as well as being accessible and motivating”.
She posited that “for effective reporting and communication, reporters should request for data to back their stories, making the beneficiaries to understand their rights to better health care, taking a decision, ensure accountability and commitment, advocate to government to do the needful; to equip hospitals and to employ qualified nurses, as well as call on government and religious leaders to do more for the needed change”.
On his part, the Youth Program Officer, Dr. Idowu Araoyinbo speaking on the expectation of the media, enumerated six ways young people can change the world, viz volunteerism, writing to political representatives, using online platform to reach others, giving other people a role to play, thinking outside the box and joining the media movement of change.
Idowu maintained that “the media is an important ally in any public health situation, it serves the role of being a source of correct information as an advocate for correct health behaviors, but before the media can take on that role, it needs to understand the virus, the issues surrounding it, policy and practices and finally recommended correct behaviors”.
Responding on behalf of media reporters, the Chairman of Nigerian Union of Journalists Cross River State Council, Mr. Victor Udu thanked UNFPA for organizing the seminar; he called on UNFPA to request health workers in the State to make available relevant information to media reporters for effective reporting.
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