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Auma’s remarkable story on TV47 offers great lessons on journalism for change

In a world where people are increasingly weary of media that excessively focuses on sensationalism and entertainment, it is gratifying to find unwavering commitment to tell stories that challenge the status quo, inform the public and advocate for change. The recent coverage by TV47 of Kakamega Baby Boomers on Word Contraception Day is a compelling example of excellent journalism.

The story by Violet Auma about the Banyala community in Navakholo, Kakamega County, highlighted the struggles women go through trying to take control of their reproductive health. In that community, family planning is generally considered a taboo subject, too sensitive to be broached.

A 30-year-old woman named Genitrix found herself expecting her eleventh child. This staggering number of pregnancies was not due to her desire but was imposed upon her by the husband’s refusal to allow her access family planning methods.

The story told of the deeply ingrained power dynamics among Abanyala, where men hold excessive power over women even on personal matters. This imbalance of power not only robs women of their rights but also contributes to the perpetuation of gender inequality.

Stories like this underline the importance of journalists focusing on issues that enlighten, educate, and provoke thought. Here are some compelling reasons why journalist should cover such stories.

Raising awareness: Journalists can bring hidden issues like the taboos surrounding family planning in Bunyala community to the forefront of public consciousness. By reporting on these stories, they ignite conversations that challenge long-standing norms.

Advocate for change: Through their reporting journalists can advocate for change by engaging with local authorities, NGOs and activist groups to push for policies and initiatives to improve access to family planning and empower women to make informed decisions about their bodies.

Giving voice to the vulnerable: Stories like Genitrix’s allow marginalised individuals to be heard. By amplifying their voices, journalists can create a platform for vulnerable members of society to share their experiences and seek support.

Promoting gender equality: Journalists have the power to highlight the issues related to gender inequality. In Bunyala, women’s lack of access to family planning perpetuates gender disparity. Coverage like Auma’s can contribute to global efforts to achieve gender equality.

The story of the struggles of women in Bunyala covered by TV47 is a prime example of good journalism. It underscores the importance of journalists in shedding light on societal issues, advocating for change, and giving a voice to the unheard and ignored. In a world where knowledge is power, journalism serves as the beacon that guides us towards a more informed, compassionate, and just society. It is essential that journalists continue to cover stories like these for they hold the potential to ignite transformation and pave way for a brighter future.

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