Share 101, our forum that brings together individuals and organizations passionate about sharing ideas on reproductive health, finally kicked off.
With the inaugural one focusing on media, it sought out to enhance journalists and bloggers interest and motivation for reporting on reproductive health issues plus also establishing and maintaining trust, mutual and professional relationships between journalists, bloggers and reproductive health practitioners.
The day kicked off with an intensive dialogue and reflection on the status quo of media and reproductive health reporting in Uganda today.
From the discussion, it was clear that there is a very big disinterest in reporting about reproductive health by journalists as most stories relating about it, are mostly launching of reproductive health campaigns, closing of the campaigns, workshops and leaving out stories real reproductive health issues for example victims and circumstances rotating around child marriages, teenage pregnancies, abortion among others, are given a pass.
Irene Namyalo from one of the most popular media houses – NTV Uganda, raised a point on the ambiguous position of the laws on abortion in Uganda when she said it leaves journalists at crossroads for, they feel that they do not have access to the right information to report about and just debate about the issue in the newsroom between themselves.
Joseph Kato from Daily Monitor on the other hand, echoed the need for journalists to be invited so as to actively participate in the activities of reproductive health agencies for example community and school outreaches so that they (journalists), write stories themselves out of experience instead of writing about reports and workshops where they are mostly invited.
In the closure up of the first part of the day, the participants were given a task in groups to come up with a headline so that readers can pick up interest in perusing through their stories in a bid to capture their attention. Some of the headlines that the groups came up with included;
“Raped thrice, aborted twice and pregnant again” and “Abortion expert dies at 19”
Later in the day, there was a panel discussion moderated by Amon Mulyowa with the panelists being Mona Robert from DSW Uganda, Charles Draecabo from UNESCO, Simon Kasyate from NTV Uganda and Anne Whitehead, the CEO of Whitehead Communications.
The panel discussion reflected on marketing your story, fusing it to make it a worthwhile read, breaking down stats and numbers for them to have a meaning and effective use of new age journalism (social media) to tell your story.
“Whether you are on social media or not, the first rule is that you must have accurate and authentic information to share”, explained Charles Draecabo from UNESCO.
In case you missed the moments, check out the hashtag #Share101 and get to see what went down online.