The International Press Centre (IPC) in Lagos, Nigeria, in partnership with the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC), announced the start of a 12-month media monitoring project designed to improve media reporting on poverty issues.
Project participants will monitor media reports on poverty-related issues during the time frame. They will analyse content, identifying gaps in the coverage of poverty and developing suggestions for a way to address those gaps and implement agreed-upon action.
The project will result in a country report as an advocacy document that is intended to influence needed policy shifts by respective stakeholders, said IPC.
The ultimate beneficiaries will be the poor, with intervention through reports by journalists and engagement by civil society organisations. The media's potential roles include: informing a wide range of audiences on poverty reduction issues, providing an open forum to reflect different public views, including those of poor people and scrutinizing and holding actors to account.
The scale and insidious nature of poverty warrants new reporting approaches and strategies in order to prick the national conscience and prod governments into firmer actions, said IPC.
Hence, the project will include training journalists to draw attention to poverty issues in their reportage.
IPC believes that this project marks the beginning of an initiative that is expected to open the creation of new directions for the Nigerian media and journalists in reporting on poverty.