Representation of persons with disabilities in the media

Jul 3, 2015

 

Dushanbe, 3 July 2015

 25 journalists from all Tajikistan’s regions working in electronic and print media participate in a 2 day interactive awareness raising training organised by the League of Women with Disabilities “Ishtiroq” in cooperation with UNDP.

‘This is the first time in my 25 years long professional career that journalists have an opportunity to learn from women with disabilities about stigma they, children and men with disabilities face. Through practical examples we are able to experience some prejudice and barriers they live with every day’ – stated Mr  Albarali Sattor, Chair of Union of Journalist of Tajikistan.

Journalist’s awareness about challenges and aspirations of persons with different abilities and capacity to stress that disability is about disabling attitudes and environment, and not about something being ‘wrong’ with the person are essential ingredients for socially responsible reporting.

About 2/3 of participants never wrote an article raising topics about, or of concern, for persons with disabilities. Those who did, have a family member or know someone with disability. This is a good illustration of  an old  saying ‘Out of sight, out of mind’.  To be fair to journalists, they did stress that most of their work is influenced by editors and by choosing topics that may attract readers. Readers may prefer ‘lighter’ topics, but journalists should not feed their preferences all the time. At the end of the first day of the training, journalists concluded that they should explore how to introduce topics of general interest, promote social and public good in an appealing way.

Journalists are always at work –  as training was evolving it was broadcasted on the first channel of Tajikistan national  TV station, local TV stations “Jahonnamo”, “Safina” and on two radio stations “Sadoi Dushanbe” and “Ozodi” . If they continue at this speed, they are bound to make a real contribution to realization of human rights of persons with disabilities.  Additional motivation to write and broadcast more and just for one day only, is the invitation to participate in the competition for the best article, TV and radio show examining the position of persons with disabilities. The three best pieces will be generously awarded.

Official data show that between 140 000-170 000 adults, including 30 000 children with disability live in Tajikistan.  They make up 2% of total population which is well below worldwide accepted estimate of 10-15%.  Tajikistan’s considerations to join UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities jointly support UNDP, UNICEF and the WHO. UNICEF will continue working with this core group of journalists to co-create national  awareness raising camping  under UNCT joint project ”Building and Strengthening Alliances for Inclusive Policies and Communities for Persons with Disabilities in Tajikistan” supported by the UN  Fund Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact information

Reykhan Muminova,      reykhan.muminova@undp.org  

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