Media’s role in voicing GBV issues

Media plays a role in how the message of gender-based violence is articulated to the public.

This was the message during the Divine Word University Media Freedom Day celebrations by DWU vice president of research and higher degrees, Professor Fr. Philip Gibbs.

In his speech titled ‘GBV (Gender-based violence): Getting the message across’, he said those giving reports should consider the type of language used, and beliefs and actions desired.

He added that it was not just a matter of exposing the situation to communities, but to find approaches to engage them in ways that make a difference.

The use of terms like “victim” can be confusing because depending on your beliefs, the term could refer to a man supposedly harmed by a witch, or else to a woman accused of being a witch.

“Such confusion could even encourage violence instead of dispelling it,” explained Fr. Philip.

In his closing remarks, he reiterated that journalists must consider the target audience response when compiling stories for issues such as GBV. 

Annette Kora