World Vision (WV) has equipped journalists with advanced knowledge and skills on how to report and broadcast issues that provide true reflection on the lives of people living with disabilities.
The organisation held a four-day training on disability issues in Lilongwe recently. It followed concerns that media products lack positive coverage of persons with disabilities despite the policy and media ethics that guide the same.
This coincides with increased cases of persons with albinism being abducted, killed, neglected and abused through bad reporting and programming of issues.
In her opening remarks, WV national disability coordinator Betty Moses said while the media writes messages against discrimination, abductions and killings of persons with disabilities, there is need for more awareness in the fight against the vice.
“We seek to ensure that persons with disabilities are not discriminated or stigmatized. Secondly, must journalists use correct terminologies and language as they are part of the society,” she said.
She added that the organisation will continue to partner with various stakeholders as is the case with the media to ensure that disability matters are mainstreamed at grass root and then national levels.
Added Moses: “The view of World Vision is that Malawian journalists need more skills on reporting, they should know terminologies, the right language and above all champion inclusion.”
“What World Vision is doing is in line with Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika jingles being broadcast on public broadcaster MBC against news reports of abduction or killings persons with disabilities.”
Human rights campaigners and police say although arrests have been made, the situation is still rampant along the borders of Malawi.
Jenipher Ngwira, a lecturer at Catholic University, who was one of the facilitators, urged reporters to be resourceful.
“The media can do better if they understand and use certified terminologies,” said Ngwira.
Additionally, the Malawi Government and other NGOs expect that the media will come up with messages or news stories that will inform, entertain and educate the public on how to handle and deal with people with disabilities.