By Emiene Erameh
I joined the African Women Journalism Project reporting fellowship to deepen my understanding of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and learn fresh ways to report on these critical issues.
Fast forward several months, and I’m thrilled to say that I’ve gained much more than I ever expected. Let me break it down for you.
Before this fellowship, I had a good handle on GBV issues. But then, like a lightbulb moment, I stumbled upon a fascinating concept: “gendered disinformation.” It’s an area of GBV reporting I didn’t even know existed! This revelation has been a game-changer for me.
Why? Because gendered disinformation is a silent menace in my country, often overlooked. But this fellowship has equipped me to spot and report on it effectively. I’ve learned that there are laws against gendered disinformation, and it’s high time we shed light on them. Posting fake, sexualised photos of women to discredit their work and humiliate them is just plain wrong, and I’m on a mission to expose it. I want to enlighten women that there are laws which penalise gendered disinformation. In my organisation, I’ve become the go-to person for women’s rights and GBV issues, thanks to the knowledge I’ve gained.
The skills l have gained from the fellowship have given me fresh perspectives and insights for a women-focused online magazine that aims to amplify women’s voices. Because of the training received during the Fellowship, fact-checking and countering gendered misinformation is a new focus for me and my magazine.
Personal Growth: A Journey into Video Editing and More
The training and mentorship sessions l received as part of the fellowship have improved my journalistic skills and encouraged me to grow my professional career. For example, when l told my mentor of my desire to learn video editing and photography, her advice was simple yet profound: dedicate an hour or two each day to mastering these skills.
So, here’s my exciting update—I’m well on my way to becoming a video editing whiz! I’ve even started my own YouTube channel, where I intend to destigmatise menopause and postpartum depression, issues that are regularly ignored by the media but which we need to lift the veil of silence. The Fellowship has been incredibly rewarding, and l cannot wait for the next opportunity it has made possible for me.