Speaking at the training, Mr. Yinka Olaito, Executive Director of the Foundation, explained that the training was aimed at equipping the participants with proper guidelines for reporting disability inclusion.
Yinka harped on the importance of their inclusion in society, stressing that disability is not a taboo in society. He lamented that Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) had been living a segregated lifestyle in society while he took participants through his presentation on etiquette on disability reporting.
Mrs. Moji Makanjuola a veteran journalist, made a presentation on the poor reportage by journalists of PWDs and also on inclusion in the newsroom, charging journalists to practice inclusion by speaking out for the PWDs.
Ms Susan Kelechi, one of the resource persons, who is physically challenged, and who uses a wheelchair noted that there are over 31 million PWDs in Nigeria. According to her, they shouldn’t be pitied but should be shown empathy. Susan called on journalists to see the need to be adequately acquainted with the proper word to be used in reporting PWDs.
Whilst charging the media to partner with PWD organizations to properly get information and inclusion, Mr. Adedeji Ademidgbuji also urged the participants to understand that disability is a physical challenge, not a mental challenge.
Mr Seyi Olufemi elaborated on the importance of accurate data while reporting PWD stories, adding that the use of data on the PWD’s reporting is also crucial as he also explained that everyone is temporarily or permanently disabled at some point in time.
AFYMP has trained no fewer than 25 young media practitioners across Africa on disability inclusion reporting and increasing the voice of the marginalized in the media.
The disability reporting training was carried out under the Collaborative Media Engagement for Development, Inclusion and Accountability (CMEDIA) Project, a multi-level intervention that supports media independence, improved transparency, accountability, and good governance in state and local governments with more public awareness on the need for accountability, and amplified marginalised voices. The three-year project is being implemented with support from the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) and is funded by the MacArthur Foundation.