The media fraternity plays a crucial role in sharing pertinent and accurate information with the public. The media also plays a key accountability role in the society because they posit questions on the efficiency and effectiveness of policies and strategies adopted by the government and the various ministries and government agencies.
The media however, rarely report matters affecting the gender and sexual minorities and when they do, it is often from a point of misinformation and prejudicial bias. In other words, emphasis is made using moral lenses to heightened a certain response from those who consume the information.
This kind of information when presented to the public ignites negative attitudes and violence towards the GSM and perpetuates the already existing injustice in access to essential services in health and justice. It is therefore important for the media to be able to discuss GSM Issues or incidences with an understanding of the concepts of Gender and Sexual Diversity and Human Rights.
By providing relevant information on Gender and Sexual Diversity and Human Rights, the media is encouraged to embrace sensitive reporting in respect of human rights rather than sensational reporting driven by moral perspectives. This is also a distinct opportunity for the media to act as a conduit to provide the public with information to view the GSM issues objectively, critically, and through a human rights lens.
Over the last two years, PEMA Kenya has been able to engage several media practitioners in workshops that would empower them with knowledge relating to gender identity and sexual orientation. In addition, the workshop was able to give an objective analysis of Kenyan Penal Code and the Bill of Rights. These workshops were facilitated by 8 Media Practitioners who were carefully chosen empowered to drive these workshops.
The 8 Trainer of trainers (TOTs) used a curriculum that focused entirely on empowering the Media Practitioners to understand GSM issues. This project focus has changed of late and now the GSM and Media Practitioners are equally empowered to collaborate and work towards building a robust media advocacy platform. As such, there is need to review the Media Engagement Curriculum to align it to the current project needs.
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