Stallion Times Media Services has trained 40 journalists on disability reporting in the media in such a way that their reporting would influence national action. The journalists were trained at a workshop held in Kano
One of the objectives of the workshop includes promoting issues-based disability reporting in ways that would influence national action.
The Editor-in-Chief of Stallion Times, Isiyaku Ahmed said the training was necessary because of the common and negative stereotypes for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) which have penetrated the public, media, and the governance eco-system.
He said journalists have an important role to play in changing such negative mindsets, increasing the representation of PwDs, and reinforcing positive thinking rather than portraying them in stigmatizing ways, as objects of pity, or as mere data.
Ahmed encouraged participants to keep the discussion around PwD alive and step down the knowledge gained at the workshop to colleagues in the industry.
Mr. Richard Musa, one of the resource persons, who is the Advocacy and Communication Officer, Expanding Social Protection for Inclusive Development (ESPID) – Action Against Hunger, in his presentation on the Overview of Persons with Disability Law in Kano: Opportunities and Challenges said the amended Kano State Disability Bill when passed into law and implemented according to the provisions of the framework would go a long way in bridging the gap between the society and the most marginalized groups.
He said the social contract between government and the citizens which has since been severed can be repaired through the law, adding “we cannot afford to miss this golden opportunity to make things right as far as having an inclusive society is concerned.”
He disclosed that the bill has already been approved by the State Executive Council and transmitted to the State House of Assembly.
In his brief remarks, Comrade Abbas Ibrahim, the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Kano State Council, admonished journalists to be professional in the discharge of their duties. Comrade Ibrahim called on journalism practitioners to broaden their horizons through entrepreneurship and the development of journalism for the public interest.
He then thanked Stallion Times for choosing the topic “Disability reporting in the media,” saying, there could be no better time for the training because of its importance and the efforts to have the amended Kano Disability Bill signed into law.
The lead consultant, Dr Mainasara Yakubu Kurfi, of the Department of Mass Communication, Bayero University, Kano took participants through a presentation on understanding, portraying, and reporting issues of PwDs.
He said PwDs want and can contribute to national development, but their full participation will depend on the removal of all barriers such as changing the narratives that depict them as sad, passive, and dependent with those showing them as dignified, proud, capable and independent individuals.
He urged journalists to increase awareness of the issues and challenges surrounding disabilities by using appropriate terminologies.
He said PwDs should be featured in reportage as providers of expertise, services, assistance, and contributors to the financial support of their families and communities.
He said if reported properly by the media, PwDs can make valuable contributions to all aspects of human endeavour.
Mr. Abdulrazak Ado Zango, a visually impaired participant who is the Secretary of the National Association of the Blind, Kano State Chapter, said the training was highly enlightening as PwDs were given the opportunity to interact with journalists on their concerns and needs for reportage.
The training was conducted under the ‘Get Involved, Dialogue and Improve (G-RIP) Project’ in collaboration with the Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) under the Collaborative Media Engagement for Development Inclusivity and Accountability (CMEDIA) Project supported by the MacArthur Foundation.