Several journalists from both the print and broadcast media as well as information officers from MICT were recently trained in ethical and professional reporting on people with disabilities.
A two-day media sensitisation workshop was held in Windhoek to educate journalists about reporting on minorities. They were encouraged to use proper language and terminology when reporting on people with disabilities.
This was the second workshop of its kind since the country’s independence, and was organised by the Editors Forum of Namibia (EFN) in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) and three UN agencies in Namibia on 28 and 29 September 2021.
According to Tjiueza Tjombumbi, head of research and development at the National Disability Council of Namibia, there has been an improvement in media reports about people with disabilities, but there is still room for improvement.
The deputy minister in charge of disability affairs in the presidency, Alexia Manombe-Ncube, said people with disabilities have faced misinterpretations, defamation and a lack of representation in the media.
Terminologies such as ‘disabled’, ‘living with disabilities’ or ‘wheelchair-bound’ are not acceptable.
“I believe the media can be a powerful tool in changing perceptions, eliminating discrimination and raising public awareness in combating stigma and misinformation,” she stated.
“A toast to journalists who have written reports about people with disabilities, and who have made a positive difference in the lives of people with disabilities during this unprecedented difficult time of the Covid-19 pandemic”, Manombe-Ncube added.
Jackline Lidubwi from Internews Nairobi, Kenya, virtually attended and hosted the journalists, as well as responded to and clarified questions raised by participants.
Representatives from the UNDP, the Law Reform and Development Commission of Namibia and the EFN gave detailed presentations to empower journalists from both print and broadcasting media to produce ethical and quality stories about people with disabilities.