Journalists from the Nyanza region have been called to report objectively while taking into consideration matters of gender equity as the country gears for the general election.
Dr. Milicent Otieno while speaking during a conflict-sensitive reporting training for journalists in Kisumu, emphasized the importance of practicing fairness while reporting especially during political campaigns.
Otieno, a lecturer at Rongo University urged the media practitioners to be guided by gender differences of individuals when conducting interviews to ensure gender-sensitive reporting.
“We have had cases where journalists concentrate on one gender and you will hear them say women are not vocal and are not informed, it’s your duty as a journalist to guide them,” she reiterated.
She added that newsmakers should be both men and women calling on scribes to challenge stereotypes in society and give a fair representation of both gender.
Journalists have a responsibility to ensure gender equity in covering news by giving airtime and advice to all.
She called upon media houses to come up with programs that give prominence to gender adding by communicating through the programs the audience will be empowered and be gender aware as the media shapes people’s opinion.
“As we produce these programs we should think about their impact on the public and it is the work of the media to ensure the public consumes the right information. We should ask ourselves if there is a woman who has created a safe house for gender based violence victims or girls who have run away from early marriages. These are the kind of stories we expect,” she added.
Otieno said that media practitioners should not just focus on the reproductive roles and family backgrounds while reporting on women in leadership positions but also on the community roles.