The recent training organized by Women in the Media in Sierra Leone (WIMSAL) under the theme “Peace, Media Engagement, and Gender in Politics” aimed to bridge the gap between media, politics, and gender equality.
The training, which convened female journalists from across various districts in Sierra Leone, took place at the Vanilla Complex in Aberdeen, Freetown, on the 12th October, 2023. It was held with support funding from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), under its Peace Building Fund.
Led by WIMSAL’s President, Madam Eastina Taylor, and a team of experienced facilitators, the training focused on empowering female journalists to promote peace, gender equality, and responsible journalism in Sierra Leone’s political landscape.
During the training, one of the facilitators, Mr. Sheku Putka Kamara provided an in-depth overview of Sierra Leone’s political landscape, shedding light on the challenges faced by the nation. This session aimed to equip participants with a comprehensive understanding of the context in which they operate, enabling them to report on political events accurately and responsibly.
A crucial aspect of the training was the emphasis on gender sensitivity in reporting. Participants were educated on the importance of including gender perspectives in their work. They were equipped with strategies to ensure fair and unbiased reporting, fostering a more inclusive portrayal of women in politics.
Madam Taylor’s presentation highlighted the significant role that media plays in peacebuilding. She stressed the media’s potential to shape public opinion, promote understanding, and facilitate dialogue. Ms. Taylor also explored responsible journalism ethics in conflict zones, providing case studies that encouraged participants to delve into effective peace journalism.
Another facilitator, Madam Marnel Breure led a session on effective storytelling and advocacy in political reporting, explaining that by crafting compelling narratives, journalists can engage their audience and make a deeper impact. She shared practical tips and techniques to enhance participants’ storytelling skills, enabling them to create more engaging and influential reports.
Recognizing the growing influence of social media, the training included a session on utilizing these platforms for advocacy and wider outreach. Participants learned about the power of social media in disseminating information, raising awareness, and mobilizing support. Interactive workshops allowed them to develop impactful peace advocacy campaigns tailored for social media platforms.
Notably, WIMSAL’s training has paved the way for a more informed, empowered, and inclusive media landscape in Sierra Leone.
Armed with their newfound skills, participants expressed confidence to create compelling narratives that advocate for gender equality and responsible journalism, contributing to a more peaceful and inclusive society.