By Friday Idachaba
Journalists in the country have been called upon to bring to the front burner, issues of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) with a view to addressing negative stereotypes against persons with disabilities.
The call was made by a multi-media organization, Stallion Times with a view to attract attention and solutions to their plight and promotion of social inclusion.
Malam Isiyaku, Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer and Editor-in-Chief of Stallion Times made the call at a One-day training workshop on “Disability Reporting in the Media” on Thursday in Lokoja.
Ahmed said reporting disability in the country was at its lowest ebb and the development had adversely affected social inclusion of persons living with various forms of disabilities.
He said that the training was under the Participatory Governance and Media Literacy project tagged “Get Involved, Dialogue and Improve (G-DRIP)” being implemented by Stallion Times Media Service in Kano and Kogi states.
He said that the G-DRIP was collaborating with the Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism under the Collaborative Media Project (Collaborating for media independence and government accountability), with support from the MacArthur Foundation.
“This training is necessary because of the common and negative stereotypes of persons with disabilities which have penetrated the public, the media, and the governance eco-system in Kogi and other states of Nigeria.
The broad objective according to him is to promote issue-focused reporting on Disability to gain prominence in the mainstream media that would influence national action towards disability.
“The media is in a unique position to reshape the public image and improve the living condition of persons with disabilities through research and proper reporting of critical issues that affect disabilities in Nigeria”, he said.
Mr Anselm Okolo, Consultant and resource person in his lecture on “The Art of Listening”, said reporting disability was a big issue adding that it involved life values to make life better and urged Journalists not to kill with inaccurate reporting.
Speaking earlier, Alhaji Adeiza MomohJimoh, chairman of Kogi State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) commended Stallion Times for always organising training for Journalists.
According to Momoh-Jimoh, life remains dynamic and so is the Journalism profession adding that it underscored the need for constant and periodic training and retraining of Journalists.