Today, February 13, 2018 is World Radio Day. The theme for this year’s commemoration is Radio and Sports.
In West Africa, radio is one of the vital tools for the delivery of information, driving change and ensuring socio-economic development. Sports, on the other hand, has also been a special instrument for poverty reduction, unity and cohesion, community building, peace-facilitation and a source of entertainment in the sub-region. It is therefore to be expected that radio must fairly cover all manner of people in society, especially on sporting activities, to ensure development.
However, a study by the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) shows that coverage of marginalized groups in the media (Radio, TV and Newspaper) in Africa is low. The report findings show that in Africa the overall presence of women in the media is only 22%.
The figure reduces further when it comes to the coverage of women in sports. For instance, only 13% of women in Ghana are covered in the media on sporting activities. In Benin, and Mali, it is 8%, Mali 7% respectively.
The figures are likely to be drastically low for other marginalised groups like People With Disabilities (PWDs).
The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) therefore calls on journalists, owners of radio stations and other media stakeholders to project the sporting activities of the marginalised groups in society. The power of radio programming and the popularity of sports in the sub-region must be combined to empower women, PWDs and the marginalised in ensuring inclusiveness in society.
On this World Radio day, the MFWA urges media owners, content producers and editors to consciously make the effort to maintain a fair coverage of all persons engaging in sports to ensure development.