The ReportWomen! Network (ReWoN), the alumnae group of the Report Women! Female Reporters Leadership Programme (FRLP) fellows initiated by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ), have commemorated the International Women’s Day (IWD) 2021 with a virtual training for female journalists. The event with the theme ‘Female Journalists. Get set! Go!’ held on Monday, 15th March 2021.
In her opening remarks, Funke Fayemi, co-chair of ReWoN elaborated on the objectives of the network which has a membership base of 53 across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria as well as two members from Ghana. The 2017 FRLP fellow stated that the virtual programme was geared at sustaining the capacity building of fellows and engagement with other stakeholders towards improving the status of female reporters in newsrooms and promoting gender-balanced stories.
Facilitators at the training – Sharon Ijasan, education and labour correspondent with TVC News; Theodora Aidoo, author at FacetoFace Africa; and Justina Asishana, Niger State correspondent at The Nation Newspaper; as well as the moderator, Amaka Okoye, a reporter with Arise Television – were all drawn from the network across the broadcast, print and online media genres.
During her presentation on ‘Making impact with your lens’, Sharon Ijasan elaborated on the power of telling investigative stories with the use of the camera. The 2018 FRLP fellow reeled out several skills female reporters should note in making impactful stories using their gender lens.
“To produce an impactful story, listening more, alongside research and a proper story treatment is very important. You also need to follow the money, and very importantly, know that the story is not about you, ” she stated
Participants were further engaged on ‘Excelling in different media genres as a female journalist’ by another 2018 fellow, Theodora Aidoo. Challenging participants to excel in whatever media field they work in, she listed the ability to multitask, ability to be highly organised, creative thinking, computer savviness, and knowledge on using content management system as some skills needed to excel in the online media.
On her part, Justina Asishana identified poor pay, sexual harassment, and cultural expectations as some of the challenges faced by female journalists during her session on the Challenges of female journalists: Aiming beyond the glass ceiling. The 2019 FRLP fellow recommended that female journalists should support one another and take up tasks assigned to them to scale beyond the glass ceiling. The training also featured a question and answer session to ensure robust audience participation.
The WSCIJ through its Report Women! initiative challenges issues that undermine the full potential of life for women and girls in Nigeria through the media and has recorded considerable impact in this regards.