By Jariatu S. Bangura
The Media Reform Coordinating Group (MRCG) has concluded a training session for female journalists on digital literacy, women’s right and to deal with online intimidation and cyber bullying.
Programme Officer for MRCG, Augustine James, said the training is done by Media Foundation for West Africa (MRWA) together with MRCG as it is geared towards the continuous training of female journalists on online issues and how to deal with online intimidation and harassment.
He said they also introduce female journalist to artificial intelligence (AI) tools for their work.
The Programme Officer said in 2021, similar training was done and because it was beneficial that is why they decided to continue so that female journalists can enhance their workload and also help them conquer or address intimidations.
He said a lot of women face online intimidation which sometimes causes them to stay off the work zone and the reason the MRCG organized such training is to cast out the fear in them.
He added that although some of the male journalists encounter intimidation but they pull through unlike the women who have been considered to be weaker vessels.
“We don’t want to see female journalists leaving their work just because of intimidation or harassment, that is why we are giving out this training on a yearly basis as to encourage them to love what they want to do and pursue their career without any fear” he said.
Dr. Francis Sowa, National Coordinator, MRCG said they have had previous engagement with MRWA for such training and for the past two years they have been doing it to help women in the journalism arena. He said there are emerging technologies and as media practitioners need not to be left behind in terms of understanding those tools and how they aid their work.
He added that there so many AI tools that are now emerging that would make work easier and comfortable only if they used wisely and accurately.
The MRCG boss said no matter how literate one maybe without knowing digital literacy, one is deemed to be an illiterate. He said it is important for journalists to have knowledge of the factual world.
President of Women in the Media (WIMSAL), Eastina Taylor said digital literacy is good for women to have knowledge of as in the past years male colleagues have been ahead in the news room, handling the camera and other equipment.
She said with digital literacy, one will know how to analyze and navigate online contents. It is good for women journalists to create the space for themselves among the men and pass information to other people.
She stated that there is so much to be done for colleagues to help make their work easier as there are lots of opportunities online that needs to be used to aid their work.
She said even though women used to face challenges in the past but it would be conquered once the space is open up for them.