Journalists challenged to protect the weak

Lerotho Letsatsi

BEREA – Journalism should be used to protect the weak, especially children, people in abusive unions and migrants, a United Nations official said here on Tuesday.

Opening a workshop being attended by 15 local journalists, UNFPA communications officer Violet Maraisane said journalists have a crucial role to play in building more equal societies that respond timeously and promptly to crises.

The objective of the workshop is to equip journalists with skills on information gathering and how to write stories that galvanise communities to respond quickly to problems.

Child Protection Consultant Mohamed Sallieu Barrie said journalists should prioritize safety, dignity, and avoid causing harm, prevent and minimize as much as possible any unintended negative effects of interventions which can increase people’s vulnerability to both physical and psychosocial risk.

As change agents, journalists should pay special attention to individuals and groups who may be particularly vulnerable or have difficulty accessing assistance and services.

“We should empower and support the development of self protection capacities and assist people to claim their rights, including-not exclusively- the rights to shelter, food, water and sanitation, health and education,” said Barrie.

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