WAN-IFRA W-I-N trains journalists on election reporting

Portia Mlilo
WIN COUNTRY MANAGER: Caroline Phiri Lubwika

WAN IFRA Women in News (WIN) Botswana held a one-day media training on inclusive elections reporting at Phakalane Golf Resorts on Tuesday this week.

At the intensive and rigorous training, scores of journalists and photographers were drilled on elections coverage ahead of the October 2024 general elections with a critical emphasis on topics such as Media Independence, Media Capture, Media Co-option and Media and Conflict.

Speaking on inclusive reporting, WIN Country Manager, Caroline Phiri Lubwika, said that the training was meant to equip journalists with the necessary skills to effectively report on elections by ensuring gender balance in the news.

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“Your stories must have all voices, including those of the vulnerable. Even the elderly must share their views. Be gender-neutral. Journalists should not be part of the problem but rather the solution. Without Gender Equality Diversity and Inclusion, media runs the risk of causing harm and increasing discrimination particularly among the younger audience,” said Lubwika.

Media Consultant, David Aduda, advised journalists to be mindful of their language when reporting on elections as they have influence in shaping public opinion.

Aduda said the media should provide fair, balanced and equal coverage and treatment for all candidates and parties.

Interrogate candidates, their political parties’ manifesto and programmes and explain them to enable voters to make informed choices,” said Aduda.

He also emphasised the importance of safety for journalists, especially during mass rallies and campaigns.

Aduda also cautioned that when the campaign gets heated, there might be candidates who might feel that some journalists are de-campaigning them so it would be prudent for journalists to not overexpose themselves by engaging in risky behaviour like divulging their movements and whereabouts on social media to all and sundry.

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