World Vision Malawi has engaged the media through a four-day training in disability so that journalists gain advanced knowledge and skills in how to report and broadcast current affairs programs that are a true reflection of persons with disabilities.
The training follows news that media products lack positive coverage of persons with disabilities despite the policy and media ethics being in place in the country.
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, journalists use correct terminologies and language as they are part of the society,” she said.
She added that World Vision will continue to partner various stakeholders as is the case with the media to ensure that disability matters are mainstreamed at grass root and then national levels.
“The view of World Vision is that Malawian journalists needed more skills of reporting, to know terminologies, 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 in how they report.
“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 in how to handle and deal with such people.
This venture among World Vision, media and authorities come amid news that Lilongwe is building awareness so that it matches international protocols.