Journalists Knowledge Transfer Workshop
January 30-31, 2020- #DestigmatizeAddiction
NACADA in partnership with the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) concluded a two-day training at the Utalii Hotel, Nairobi on reporting alcohol and drug abuse-related issues for health journalists and news editors. A total of eighty-four (84) participants drawn print, broadcast and online media attended the training.
NACADA Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Victor G. Okioma, EBS, and Mr. Victor Bwire, Deputy Chief Executive Officer attended the opening session. In their remarks, they all acknowledged the importance of alcohol and drug abuse issues reporting in promoting the health of individuals and communities and the role of journalists in facilitating this. They also reiterated their commitment to work together to promote alcohol and drug abuse evidence-based reporting in the country.
Under the theme “Destigmatize Addiction”, the overall objective of the training was to build the capacity of journalists to report on alcohol and drug abuse issues and reduce the stigma associated with persons suffering from substance use disorders. This is a gradual shift from the traditional way of referring to persons in recovery or persons suffering from alcohol and drug abuse as drug addicts, junkies, alcoholics, etc.
During the two-day knowledge transfer workshop, participants were:
- Updated on key developments and milestones on alcohol and drug abuse-related issues
- Oriented on the Code of Conduct and Ethics of Journalism Practice in Kenya within the context of maintaining dignity and sensitivity to those affected by substance use disorders
- Oriented on laws and policies on alcohol and drug abuse
- Guided on investigative skills and tips to finding and writing winning stories.
At the end of the workshop, the following key recommendations were put forward for consideration:
1. NACADA to consider rolling out this type of training to cover more journalists, including senior editors and media executives;
2. Health journalists to proactively engage health and other sectors to enhance better health reporting;
3. NACADA to recognize work of heath reporters by sponsoring a category during the Annual Journalists Excellence Awards (AJEA);
4. To enhance alcohol and drug abuse reporting, NACADA and other partners to consider offering a grant to facilitate coverage of in-depth stories; &
5. NACADA to regularly share alcohol and drug abuse information with journalists.