Media urged to focus more on plights of IDPs, women and children

Media organisations in Nigeria have been urged to focus more on the plights of persons affected by hostilities and conflicts, particularly by privileging reports that call attention to the welfare of the displaced.

In a report titled, “Monitoring media reportage and portrayal of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Africa,” produced by Journalists for Christ (JFC) International Outreach, Nigeria, the media is further urged to produce more incisive reports that investigate allegations of corruption in the management of resources for IDPs.

In the report which is a product of a survey that covered coverage and portrayal of IDPs by six Nigerian national dailies and two online newspapers, JFC said issues affecting women and children should be given more space in the media.

“Media organisations should endeavour to fund journalists to independently visit IDP camps to be able to include feature articles, including objective reports on the management of the situation of life of IDPs in the camps,” JFC said in the report.

The report surveyed The Punch, Nation, Vanguard, Daily Sun, Daily Trust and Leadership as well as Premium Times and the Cable.

    The survey showed that security issues about IDPS topped publications by the media mentioned, noting that humanitarian support by local and international organisations was also a major focus of the publication.

    It lamented, nonetheless, that most of the stories were news-based, and did not allow for the coverage of deeper issues affecting the IDPs such as the provision of basic amenities, sexual harassment, health condition, and human right abuses.

    While noting that most reports were based on official sources and visits facilitated by government agencies, JFC said such reports also did not have pictures to support the plights of the IDPs which could have provided graphic evidence of the situation and plights of the displaced persons.

    JFC recommended that IDPs issues deserve editorials and reportorial slants that implore government agencies and related institutions to put in place policies that guarantee, advance and promote improvement in the provision of basic amenities and the rights and dignity and welfare of IDPs.

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