A call has been made for improved media reportage of Internally Displaced Persons ( IDPs ).
The call was made at the end of a stakeholder’s consultative meeting organized by Journalists for Christ (JFC) International Outreach, Nigeria as part of the activities for the ‘Monitoring Media
Reportage and Portrayal of IDPs in Africa’ project: A case study of media coverage of IDPs in Nigeria”.
The monitoring project in three African countries, namely, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Kenya is supported by the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC), Bread for the World, and Waldensian Church’s Otto per Mille (OPM) Office in Italy.
Participants at the stakeholders meeting noted that there was urgent need for the media to consider filling the missing gaps in IDPs reporting on Human Rights Abuses, Lack of attention to manpower in the area of education and health needs of IDPs and Lack/Inadequacy of empowerment opportunities to engage individuals in IDPs camps.
The media was also urged to pay attention to positive social activities: self-help initiatives and noticeable ingenuity and local capacity for inventions in IDPs v. Forms of discrimination on the basis of gender, ethnicity and religions
It was agreed that effective representation of IDPs in media portrayal of developmental issues should be encouraged through relevant capacity building initiatives by local and international stakeholders.
In addition, stakeholders emphasised the need in empowering journalists and other media professionals to enable them engage the reportage of IDPs with renewed passion and fresh momentum.
Towards stimulating proper media attention and reportage of IDPs, stakeholders recommended as follows:
- Media organizations and related bodies should make provision of resources for media
journalists and other media professionals with passion for reporting and or documenting IDPs.
- Journalists and media professionals should prioritise situational analysis of IDPs and engage in investigations.
- Media organizations, media NGOs and other stakeholders should conduct media training programme for journalists on skills and tools for communicating issues and concerns relating to IDPs.
- There is the need for journalists, media agencies and media related platforms/networks/organizations like JFC to identify existing opportunities that could be leveraged upon for media reportage of IDPs issues.
- There is the need for special desk or units in media agencies and media related platforms/networks/organizations like JFC to harness and share resources on IDPs related information and news to provide impetus for better reportage.