Winners at maiden edition of ReportHer award go home with laptops, United Nations Scholarship

The first Nigerian Women Radio WFM, 91.7FM in collaboration with United Nations (UN) Women and Government of Canada on Saturday hosted the maiden edition of a gender balanced reportage award known as ReportHer Awards.

Penpushing reports that the ceremony held in Lagos attracted presence of media gurus in Nigeria, as well as number of various groups and professional bodies and leadership of Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ), MacArthur Foundation’s Nigeria office and National Broadcasting Organisation(BON) among others

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Women Radio, Toun Okewale-Sonaiya, in her welcome speech explained that the award is aimed at recognising the collective and deliberate efforts of the media at changing female narratives, altering stereotypes, and closing gender imbalances, “as Nigeria is experiencing more visibility and reportage of women.”

Penpushing further reports that she said though Nigeria still has a male-dominated media industry, with the majority of media owners, decision-makers and editors being men,, adding that we are witnessing an increase in media visibility on female-centric issues.

The female radio station founder and a veteran broadcast journalist, however, commended the Nigerian media for what she described as a deliberate and intentional commitment to gender-sensitive reporting, stressing that with the media dedication to sharing narrative and demanding accountability, they help make Nigeria a wonderful place for women.

Penpushing also reports that Okewale-Sonaiya explained that ReportHer Awards acknowledges gender-balanced reportage and celebrates media organisations and journalists who give prime time and space to women as their male counterparts.

The Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Balarabe Ilelah, in his goodwill message said the commission is at the forefront of protecting the dignity of women as provided in various places in the Nigeria broadcasting code, particularly section 310.

“We believe women must be empowered to be part of all decisions and developmental processes of our dear nation. For the awardees, this should boost you to do more, give more, and contribute more. There is still more to do in the area of affirmative action, forced labour, problems that are almost everywhere in the country, rape, girl child abuse and many more’, he stated

Penpushing reports that the Chief Executive Officer of Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ), Motunrayo Alaka, in her remarks called on President Bola Tinubu to observe the 50-50 gender balance in appointing his cabinet members, noting that doing that would put Nigeria on the global map as a gender-sensitive nation.

The Founding Director of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), Dr  Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, in her own goodwill message suggested that the media organisations should have a 50-50 gender reporting agenda.

The Director of the MacArthur Foundation’s Nigeria office in Abuja, Kole Shettima,in his speech  noted that the foundation is committed to gender inclusion, media and journalism in Nigeria, adding that they support not less than 60 media organisations in Nigeria that promote gender inclusivity.

Penpushing further reports that leader of the award judges, Lanre Arogundade disclosed that the panel received a total of 109 entries, noting that the award looks at the social responsibility and impact of gender stories that have been reported.

The Executive Director of the International Press Centre (IPC), explained that for the selection, the panel had some assessment perimeters, which included the essence at which women were used as sources for reports, and the 50-50 representation of men and women in the stories.

‘We looked at the extent to which the story uses data, cite sources and looked at presentation and effectiveness and the extent to which media institutions that submitted their entries, and journalists meet the professional standards portraying women”, he added

Penpushing also reports the membership of the judges include Chinonso Clark, Chief Executive Officer(CEO), Lead for Good Africa; Hamzat Lawal, Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Connected Development and Ene Ede- Publisher, The Woman Today Newspaper.

The Premium Times senior multimedia reporter and gender advocate, Titilope Fadare, emerged as Nigeria’s best women, defeating four other nominees in the journalist category, and received a tablet, certificate, award plaque, and scholarship for training at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) office in the United Kingdom.

Penpushing reports that Country Representative of the United Nations (UN) Women in Nigeria, Beatrice Eyong, announced the scholarship while presenting the award to Fadare, stating that the scholarship will be funded by Nigeria’s office of United Nations (UN) Women, an organ of the United Nations.

The Country Representative of the United Nations (UN) Women in Nigeria said Fadare would have an opportunity to go to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to develop her capacity in women reporting, so that when she return she would be able to do more

Penpushing further reports that at the well-attended ceremony, Ene Oshaba of BluePrint Newspaper was announced as the runner-up for the category, while in the radio category, the Voice of Nigeria (VON) won, as well as Blueprint Newspaper won the print category. Arise News TV won the Television category, and Tech Cabal won the digital category.

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