By Titilope Fadare
The African Women Journalism Project on reporting Gender-Based Violence has transformed my career journey. It has played a pivotal role in honing my storytelling skills and shaping my perspective on GBV reporting. Through the project’s meticulous mentorship and comprehensive training, I’ve acquired invaluable tools to craft stories from a deeply informed standpoint. I’ve been given a new lens to view GBV, which extends far beyond everyday news reporting. This lens has allowed me to delve into the intricate layers of this critical issue, exploring dimensions such as conflict situations, solutions journalism, human rights, safety for GBV reporters, bodily choices, disability, and much more.
My journey with the project has been a continuous learning experience. I’ve gained a deeper understanding of how to source and seamlessly incorporate data into my reporting, creating narratives that flow beautifully. Equally important, I’ve acquired the sensitivity required when interviewing GBV sources to ensure we do not inadvertently re-traumatize survivors.
This project has elevated my confidence as a reporter and empowered me to write for a global audience. It has broadened my horizons, allowing me to seek insights and context from a global perspective.
My dedication to gender-balanced and sensitive reporting bore fruit when I was awarded the prestigious 2023 Report Her Award, organised by Women’s Radio and funded by UN Women. Being recognised as the best reporter in this category was a remarkable milestone in my career. Moreover, within my former newsroom, I became the go-to person for issues pertaining to women and girls, further validating the impact of my reporting.
In 2022, I achieved another milestone by being honoured as the best reporter at my former organisation, Premium Times, a testament to the growth and expertise I’ve gained through this fellowship.
Currently, I am channelling my enhanced storytelling and in-depth gender reporting skills into organising a groundbreaking podcast series focused on women and girls in the STEM field in sub-Saharan Africa at my new organisation, Scidev.net. The knowledge and insights I’ve garnered from this project continue to prove invaluable in every step of the planning process.
The AWJP fellowship is an experience that every female journalist should aspire to undertake. It can remarkably broaden your perspective on gender-based violence (GBV) and significantly sharpen your reporting skills. The mentorship process is not just thorough; it’s transformative.
To my fellow journalists already part of this fellowship, I encourage you to approach your storytelling intentionally. Be disciplined and committed to giving your all in every story you undertake. The process may be rigorous, but the rewards are immense. It’s a win-win, benefiting both society and your career growth.
While the fellowship is already outstanding, it can improve with more prompt responses and feedback on every story. Additionally, organising physical training sessions to build stronger relationships among participants could be a valuable addition. This way, we can further enhance this already incredible journey of growth and excellence.