Editor’s note

Editor’s note

Date: March 1, 2012
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New year, new beginnings! Welcome to Issue 24 of the Diversity Exchange, the Gender and Media Diversity Centre (GMDC) monthly newsletter.

The New Year all starts with most of us making resolutions for what we want to achieve in the year. As the GMDC, we are starting on an exciting note and there is a lot of energy that we hope will be infectious. February will be busy as we intensify our gender and media work in the region. This work includes the gender and media literacy training, media COEs as well as gender in journalism and media education.

Amongst its aims, the GMDC seeks to create critical citizens who are not passive but active consumers of media products. This aim has been realised through the gender and media literacy course that in the past has been extended to members of the public, women parliamentarians, trainers, media students among others. This time, from February to April 2012 we are doing things differently. Through a partnership struck with loveLife, the GMDC will extend gender and media literacy to a group that consumes and produces media products. The course will see our partner mainstreaming gender in media productions.

Our work is interlinked. As we train an HIV and AIDS organisation to mainstream gender, the same concept is being applied to newsrooms. The media COEs will kick off this year with a training of trainers. The media department has developed a manual that it will engage with the media country facilitators who will in turn take the training back to media houses. Ultimately, the aim is to attain 50% representation of women’s voices in the media as well as 50% representation of women in media houses, which is in line with the provisions of the SADC Protocol on gender and Development.

On the other hand, the recommendations of the Gender in Media Education findings will be taken forward. The GMDC will host its advisory group meeting from 20 to 24 February 2012. The meeting will coincide with the capacity building of trainers in gender mainstreaming. It is hoped that the trainers will gain skills that will assist them to mainstream gender in journalism and media curricula. A critical citizenry, a responsive media that believes that objectivity is also achieved when women’s and men’s voices are heard and a curricula that trains journalists to be gender sensitive can bring a huge difference to the media fraternity.

An award-winning journalist at Noticias, a daily newspaper in Mozambique defended in his mid-January column the rape of a woman by 17 men. The woman had been accused of trespassing a sacred place reserved for initiation rites in Cabo Delgado Province. The journalist celebrated the impunity of the rapists and approved that the nurses at hospital laughed at the woman, saying she is the equivalent of a pedestrian who throws herself under a car. This journo, Pedro Nacuo won the first prize and US$2,000 for health reporting, an award of the Ministry of health, in December 2011. We share with you a response to the column from critical citizens who felt that this case is a clear example of bad journalism.

In Azerbaijani, a brochure has been launched to encourage women journalists to engage in trade union work. The brochure also encourages that quota systems be put in place to increase women’s representation in trade unions.

The GMDC knowledge hub is offering new information which can be used by trainers and researchers for topics related to gender, media and diversity. Each issue highlights three items from each of our databases: newspaper clippings, media alerts and highlights, research and publications. Our “Media Alerts and Highlights” section provides an analysis of how the Swaziland media covers the issue of sugar mummies.

Finally, the GMDC will soon be signing two MOU’s with loveLife, an NGO based in Johannesburg, South Africa.



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