A survey finding by the Safer-Media initiative (SMI) says 69.4% of its respondents are unsatisfied with media coverage of local issues in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
According to the SMI, the survey was conducted in a bid to increase advocacy for the representation of marginalized voices in the media and improve reporting on governance and accountability at local levels in the six Local Area councils (LAC) of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja to assess the visibility of marginalized voices in the media, the level of media coverage of local issues and in-depth reporting on governance and accountability at the local levels.
According to the survey findings, 69.4% of respondents opined they are not satisfied with media coverage of issues in their community as 73.9% say the media prioritize coverage of national politics over local issues. 71.1% agreed there would be recorded change when issues that affect people in the community are reported in the news.
The survey also identified governance and accountability, regulatory failure, the growing rate of poverty, youth unemployment, health, education, and issues affecting women and Children as priority areas the population would want to find in news coverage.
Following the survey report which provides baselines for important statistics, SMI will open applications for journalists interested in telling stories that are vital for these communities. Selected journalists will be capacitated and supported to investigate, uncover the stories that need to be told and give voice to some of the most underrepresented groups in society.
The effort is an intervention within SMI’s mandate to implement the Strengthening Journalism – Independence, Capacity, and Presence (SJ-ICAP) Project under the Collaborative Media Engagement for Development, Inclusivity and Accountability Project (The Collaborative Media Project) of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ), with funding from the MacArthur Foundation.
The Collaborative Media Project is designed as a multi-level intervention for media independence and government accountability. It seeks to strengthen media independence and presence, especially at state and local government levels in a bid to improve public awareness and the ecosystem for accountability at the lower level of government.
Disclosure: This survey is published here on the understanding under the Collaborative Media Project, an initiative of the Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism, of which Stallion Times is a member.