By Justina Auta
Some experts from different fields on Wednesday, urged media practitioners to engage more in investigating rape and other Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) with a view to curbing the menace in the country.
They gave the advice at a one-day capacity building training for newsmen on ‘Reporting Rape’ organised by the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), OmniMedia Nigeria Limited and the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) in Abuja.
Mr Femi Adesina, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the President, encouraged the media to be professional, and ethical in their reportage, which should have a human face.
“The issue of rape is sensitive and if you do not report rape cases, it will further destroy the victim.”
Adesina, also expressed optimism that the training would further equip journalists with skills to investigate and report more on rape cases, to create awareness on the negative impacts on the victims and the society.
Also, Abike Dabiri- Erewa, Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, urged the media to go beyond reporting rape cases by investigating and engaging in follow-up, to ensure justice is served and perpetrators are brought to book.
Dabiri-Erewa also urged victims and parents to speak out, when abused, rather than keeping quiet, which would further encourage the perpetrator to repeat same act.
Otunba Segun Runsewe, Director-General, NCAC, gave a stern warning to rapists to desist from the heinous act, or face the full wrath of the law, stressing that it will no longer be business as usual for culprits to get away freely.
Runsewe said the training was to encourage the media to be change agents by reporting rape cases, investigate and do follow-up to bring positive change.
Also, Mr Shola Oshunkeye, CEO, OmniMedia, said that the training was to equip media practitioners with the appropriate skills to eliminate the prevailing cases of rape and other forms of violence in the country.
Oshunkeye also stressed the need for relevant stakeholders, particularly the media, judicial system, police, CSOs and others to ensure investigation and prosecution of rape cases, to serve as deterrent to others.
Prof. Abiodun Adeniyi, Head, Mass Communication Department, Baze University, Abuja, said journalists were change agents, hence had the responsibilities to adhere to the ethics of the profession and highlight prevailing issues on rape.
On her part, Mrs Rabi Abdullah, Manager, News and Current Affairs, NTA Headquarters, said journalists were obliged to write reports on rape cases, follow-up on it to ensure justice was served.
She also encouraged the media to create more awareness on the need to stop shaming and stigmatising victims of all forms of violence. (NAN)