By Rebecca Ekpe
Africa’s cleanest city, Kigali in Rwanda is hosting the 7th Media and Gender Violence Conference (AWiM23) with a focus on Media Sustainability. AWiM23 Rwanda is congregating media practitioners, academia, policy actors and CSOs to share best practices and set actions to address the issues of Media and Gender Violence.
AWiM23 is meant to raise awareness of the impact of media representation of gender on gender-based violence and provide a safe space where media professionals can share their lived experiences.
It is a momentum of bringing media professionals, experts, academics, CSOs and advocates to develop strategies, guidelines and best practices for reporting on gender-based violence that promotes responsible reporting.
Media Sustainability is seen as another way to keep the conversation of Gender Violence within the front burner of the media.
‘’You cannot invest in Media if you have not invested in Journalism’’, according to Journalism Lecturer Qaanitah Hunter, based in South Africa, speaking on Media Business and Financial Models within the Media ecosystem.
In her view, ‘’Public Interest Journalism is the way to go amidst the changing phase of media’’.
On the issue of content, Qaanitah Hunter drew attention to the fact that audiences cannot be taken for granted in recent times.
‘’Sustainability of Journalism is multifaceted. ‘’Editors we have to care about this’’.
‘’Trust is critical, if audiences do not trust you, they would just go away’’
Above all, working in collaboration is key, big media needs the little ones to remain viable, that is important according to Qaanitah Hunter.
Co-founder and CEO of the African Women in Media, Dr. Yemisi Akinbobola is optimistic that the Kigali Declaration after AWiM 23 will ‘’mark a historic point in the approach to and strategies at countering Gender Violence in Newsrooms”.