Propelled by the passion to enhance the career and professional opportunities of female Journalists especially in Rivers State, Step-Up For Women In Journalism Initiative (SWIJ) has organised a capacity training workshop for female journalists in the State.
During the training, the former Commissioner for information in Rivers State, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, highlighted gender imbalance as one of the key impediments to women as news sources.
Speaking on the topic: “Becoming an Expert Source for News; How to improve visibility and impact on Gender Base Issues, she emphasized that female journalists must be intentional in using women as news sources.
She also underscored the need for female journalists to key into the changing trend in journalism by promoting their work on social media.
The former Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), added that female journalists must be fresh and innovative, honest and accessible, to make a mark in their career and become news sources.
On his part, the Executive Director, Media Career Development Network, Lekan Otufodunrin, while speaking on the topic: “How Journalists can enhance their Career and Professional Opportunities”, said most female journalists are not able to differentiate between their job and career.
He posited that women must have career goals to make impact noting that growing from a reporter to taking up big assignments that leads to fellowships and awards must be intentional.
He provided some steps to be taken by journalists who want to make a mark to include; setting career goals, acquiring skills in Artificial intelligence (AI), Social media, relevant trainings and utilization of knowledge acquired through trainings.
Furthermore, Economic and Business Analyst, Ignatius Chukwu who spoke on the main theme of the programme, “Improving Capacity of Women to become Expert Sources for News”,said journalism is moving to the female but that most female journalists are not prepared to take the lead.
He said women despite knowing more than their male counterparts most times don’t want to speak because of perceived mischief and highlighted building trust as key to having female news sources.
He also emphasised the need to accommodate what he described as the ‘unofficial voices’ while engaging women adding that women are more sincere and passionate in their responses than the male folk.
He recommended pre-interview sessions for female sources as one of the keys to building trust and thanked SWIJ for organising the programme.
Earlier in her Address, the Executive Director of SWIJ, Ann Godwin, said the gap between the male and female gender had remained glaring.
According to her, there are lots of issues affecting women, ranging from poor health facilities to educational system which government has neglected.
She also identified inadequate women participation in the Nigerian political sphere, especially at the national assembly as responsible for the delay in the passage of the Gender Equality Bill.
The training which challenged female journalists in being more committed and intentional from being the reporter to the reported also provided insights on how female journalists can get to the top of their career.