Mauritius: Encouraging responsible media reporting of Gender-Based Violence

Réduit, Mauritius (PANA) - Mauritian Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare Ministry on Wednesday organized a capacity-building programme to empower students of Journalism, Communications and Media Studies from the University of Mauritius on responsible reporting of Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

with a view of writing and communicating about it more sensitively in their future career.

Addressing the students on the university campus at Réduit, 20km south of the capital, Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare Minister Mireille Martin highlighted the critical role the media play in shaping the society, by increasing the visibility of key issues and informing the public thereon, as well as bringing a change in perceptions.

“Media participation can positively contribute to increase public understanding of GBV and its prevention. It can bring about a change in mindset so that GBV is seen as a human rights violation which negatively impacts everyone in society," she said.

According to Mrs. Martin, it is vitally crucial that the media get their reporting on GBV right in a way that does not trivialise or sensationalise the issue.

Sharing her past experiences as a journalist, the Minister called on participants to adopt an appropriate tone, and a careful choice of language when reporting on GBV and always avoid portraying the victims of GBV in a way that perpetuates stereotypes or inadvertently implies the victim is to blame by focusing excessively on the victim’s behaviour.

Also speaking, Sociologist Christina Chan-Meetoo, lecturer at the University of Mauritius, told the students that there should be a new way of reporting in the media that protects the identity of the victims.

“This is a very sensitive issue and the media should reflect on it, because Gender-Based-Violence is different from any other form of violence. It can leave many scars on the victims as well as on their families," she said.

PANA reports that some media in Mauritius, including the print and private radios, get involved in sensationalism by publishing the identity of victims of GBV and also of people arrested by the police but who are presumed innocent until found guilty by a Court.
-0- PANA NA/VAO 9April2014

09 april 2014 18:36:22

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