Welcome address by President of Journalists for Christ International Outreach, Mr Lekan Otufodunrin at stakeholders meeting on Monitoring Media Reportage and Portrayal of IDPs in Africa project
I want to formally welcome you all to today’s program which is a stakeholders meeting on the project being implemented by our organization, Journalists for Christ International Outreach with the support of World Association for Christian Communication WACC and Bread for the World, and Waldensian Church’s Otto per Mille (OPM) Office in Italy.
The project titled : Monitoring Media Reportage and Portrayal of IDPs in Africa’ is also being implemented jointly with us by two other organizations in Kenya and Congo DRC.
We want to thank WACC, Bread for the World, and Waldensian Church’s Otto per Mille (OPM) Office in Italy for their support for this project which is very crucial to ensuring that the media adequately report about IDPs whose population is unfortunately growing by the day and spreading across the country.
The project will examine the media portrayal and reportage of and about internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the three case study countries of Nigeria, Kenya and DRC with a view to identifying gaps in reportage within the context of advancing in-depth reportage on IDPs in Africa.
The project also aims at galvanizing stakeholders to respect and uphold basic rights and principles in line with OCHA ‘Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement’ intended to enhance an effective and timely response to the needs of IDPs.
In the final analysis, the project shall provide a basis of action for in-depth and balanced media reportage of IDPs as well as provide a platform that advances information exchanges and engender public engagement with institutional and ecumenical efforts to respond to the social and health challenges of IDPs and refugees.
Today’s stakeholders’ consultative meeting shall provide direction for development of monitoring methodologies and shall discuss and appraise the refugees and IDPs situation in line with the objectives of the project.
The outcome of the meeting shall form part of the report and recommendation on issues that should be focused on during the media monitoring exercise.
We want to thank you all for agreeing to be part of this meeting and trust that you will avail us the benefit of your experience on the issue we are here to discuss.
It is indeed sad that as a Church leader recently pointed out in the absence of war, we are experiencing series of crises that that that has led increasing population of displaced persons in the country. Until recently IDP was not a common word, but now we are having IDP camps across the country with not enough attention being giving to meeting their needs.
IDP has also not been on the news agenda of the media and journalists are trying hard to know enough about the phenomenon to adequately report about the issues involved.
If the media must do a good job of reporting on IDP like other major issues, it needs an assessment report and guideline which is what this project is all about.
For record purpose, JFC is a faith based media organization committed to among others promoting best practices in how journalists discharge their duties. That is why we are interested in this project and we promise to do our best to implement it in accordance with the approved proposal.