Media Alert / Training

MISA trains journalists in Mambane and Mafutseni

As part of an election coverage training program, the Media Institute of Southern Africa in Swaziland (MISA-Swaziland), in partnership with human rights organisation COSPE, took five journalists into the field to ask women about the upcoming national vote, as well as many other topics…

Swazi Observer reporter Joseph Zulu in Mambane

On Tuesday 21 May, MISA-Swaziland and COSPE staff, aided by Maureen Littlejohn from the Swaziland action group against abuse (Swagaa), welcomed five journalists to the MISA office in Mbabane, the capital, for a morning discussion and training session on how to improve their election coverage.

Swazi Observer reporters Joseph Zulu (L) and Winile Masinga (R) in the MISA office before heading off into the field

Swazi Observer reporters Joseph Zulu (L) and Winile Masinga (R) in the MISA office during the morning discussion and training

This was the second ‘on-the-job workshop’ — a mixture of theoretical training and practical work — in a series of 12 sessions in the lead up to the national elections, scheduled for August 2013.

After the morning session at the MISA office, the journalists split into two groups and went off to find stories, putting into practice the principles (from the SADC election guidelines and Swagaa’s suggestions on ethical gender reporting) that had just been discussed.

Joseph Zulu (L) interviewing Mambane residents

Joseph Zulu (L) interviewing Mambane residents. (Photo: Maureen Littlejohn)

The focus of these practical ‘on-the-job’ trainings, in addition to improving election coverage, is assisting journalists so they can report on women’s issues in a more ethical manner. Beyond the fact that 80 percent of sources in the Swazi media are male voices, stories about women are often reported in an insensitive way.

Joseph Zulu story in Swazi Observer

Articles by Joseph Zulu in the Swazi Observer after the MISA-COSPE training day

In Mafutseni, a town in the central Manzini region,  the Swazi Observer’s Winile Masgina asked residents a range of questions about women’s rights and the upcoming elections.

Swazi Observer reporter Winile Masinga & Times of Swaziland reporter Kwanele Dhladhla interviewing residents in Mafutseni

Swazi Observer reporter Winile Masinga (L) and Times of Swaziland reporter Kwanele Dhladhla (R) interviewing residents in Mafutseni

Swazi Observer reporter Winile Masinga (r) interviewing a Mafutseni resident

Swazi Observer reporter Winile Masinga (R) interviewing a Mafutseni resident

Winile Masinga's articles in the Swazi Observer after the MISA-COSPE training day

Winile Masinga’s articles in the Swazi Observer after the MISA-COSPE training day

Maureen Littlejohn, communications officer at Swaziland action group against abuse (Swagaa), conducted a training in the morning on gender-sensitive reporting and assisted the journalists as they put her advice into practice. Maureen also took some photographs during the session in Mambane…
Freelance journalist Patrick Myeni interviewing in Mambane

Freelance journalist Patrick Myeni interviewing in Mambane

Times of Swaziland reporter Nontobeko Tshabalala interviewing in Mambane

Times of Swaziland reporter Nontobeko Tshabalala interviewing a Mambane resident

Swazi Observer reporter Joseph Zulu interviewing Mambane

Swazi Observer reporter Joseph Zulu interviewing in Mambane

Chakalaka in Mambane

Taking a break from the interviewing. Making Chakalaka, a spicy vegetable relish

More Chakalaka

ChakalakaBottles

MISA-Swaziland and COSPE will be running 10 more on-the-job training days for Swazi journalists before the national elections in August 2013.

The next training day will be held on Tuesday May 28.

The aim for the whole project, over the 12 sessions, is to expose about 30 journalists to this type of training. Print journalists from the two daily newspapers, Times of Swaziland and Swazi Observer, and also the monthly magazine The Nation, will receive the first round of training. If all goes to plan, there are thoughts to also involve editors, students, and radio and TV reporters.

The trainings, essentially, are about three things: good journalism; election coverage; and ethical reporting of women’s issues.
MISA believes that good and thorough journalism — by the mere fact of it being good and thorough — will also make for interesting election coverage news. Moreover, good and thorough journalism will also be ethical journalism.
COSPE, an italian-based human rights NGO, is funding the project. MISA-Swaziland are providing the training.

COSPE logocopy-cropped-misa-banner.png

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