At least 14 local journalists drawn from newspapers, online, radios, and televsions are undergoing a three-day training on women and children reporting at FIFA Goal Project Complex in Yundum.
The UN children agency, UNICEF, sponsored project seeks to help promote respsonsible reporting. The programme is implemented by Child Protection and Alliance and Ministry of Women and Children.
Speaking at the opening programme, Ebrima Sillah, Minister of Information and Communication, said: “at the policy level our ministry is currenly reviewing the Information and Communication Act of 2009 to look at child pornography issues in a more robust manner.
“And to look at abuses on the internet targetting young people. To look at bullying using ICT and whole other things that will ensure safer environment for young people to realise their potential in this country.”
Unicef country representative, Louis Jonathan, said: “let me underscore that it is our collective responsibility to protect every child, everywhere, from harm and the risk of violence, abuse, exploitation, and discrimination.”
He said children’s views “must always be taken into account” and that “it is also our responsibility to make sure that children are not mere spectators when we discuss issues that affect them.”
Lamin Fatty, Child Protection Alliance’s national coordinator, thanked the participating journalists and said: “it gives us a sense of assurance that the future of children and women in this country is a brighter one.”
Representing the Minister of Women and Children, Harriet Bass, described training the media practitioners as significance.
“The setting up of the guild with trained journalists will promote more responsible reporting on children and women,” she said.
She however said:”children and women’s rights are often violated in mainstream media (both traditional and digital) – due to gaps in the professional capacity of journalists.”
Ms Bass said the training will greately help to improve in reporting about most “disadvantage and vulnerable children to influence public opinion and nuture child and women-friendly social norms and values.”
Reporting by Adama Makasuba