Some journalists in the Upper East Region have been educated on gender equality, social inclusiveness and human rights approaches to writing stories that will help improve upon their work.
The Community Development and Advocacy Centre (CODAC), an advocacy and human rights organisation, organised the training, with support from STAR- Ghana, under a project dubbed: “Strengthening Inclusive and Accountable Local Governance,” which attracted journalists from various media houses.
Mr Sumaila Seidu Saaka, the Project Consultant of CODAC, said it was important to include human rights issues in the overall news coverage to ensure that the public received well-rounded and comprehensive stories of what was happening around them.
He said: “Human rights are more than just legal issues as they directly impact on the progress and development of a country,” adding that increasing the awareness and knowledge of human rights also increased the public sense of security.
Mr Saaka said if people knew their violations would not be ignored and they could rely on their local newspapers and radio stations to report accurately and without biases on what was going on, they would be more confident in their news media sources.
“By expanding media coverage to include reports of human rights issues, the public will be better informed about their rights and the rights of others, increasing their confidence and raising overall awareness,” he said.
Mr Saaka urged journalists to create linkages with human rights subjects in their quest to report on them, and said: “Your audience will often be unaware about the ideas of human rights and what it means, so you need to explain the concept in a clear manner.”
He urged the journalists to always report human rights issues with “the concept of human rights,” at the forefront of the story.
He called on journalists to adopt a non-discriminative approach to always consider disadvantaged groups and how they may be impacted by the issues that they reported on, and insisted they sourced data and facts about issues, where possible, using disaggregated data.
Mr Saaka called on duty-bearers to take active steps towards the full realisation of human rights through increased accessibility to resources and services. “Government must give priority to meet the minimum rights for the most vulnerable,” he said.