The Wole Soyinka Centre for Journalism (WSCIJ) has made a call for equality and the need for more opportunities for women newsrooms in Nigeria.

This call was made during a conference hosted by the Soyinka centre, on Thursday, 15th February, 2024, where a report that was presented showed the stark statistics of gender disparity in news work spaces.

The report, entitled, “Who leads the newsrooms and news? A report on women’s representation in newsrooms and news leadership in Nigeria,” revealed the reality of the issues arising, relating to gender disparity in the media industry.

These reports were collated from several media houses across Nigeria, with funding support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, under the Report Women! News and Newsroom Engagement project as a tool of engagement with the staff and management of media houses.

Women accounted for 25.7% of leadership positions, while men dominated with 74.3% according to the statistics presented.

Print and online platforms exhibited the lowest representation of women at 4.6% and 5.5% respectively, while radio and television showed slightly better representation at 9.2% and 6.5% respectively

According to the WSCIJ, to foster a more diverse and equitable media landscape, proactive measures are needed to enhance gender inclusivity and empower women within the industry.

The Director of Daily Trust Foundation, Dr Theophilus Abbah, who reviewed the 90-page research document, said it provided evidence of the lopsidedness in the media industry, stressing that it holds a mirror to the face of media owners, media executives, and newsroom leaders, showing an error that needs to be corrected and mistake of gender imbalance in the news business.

He urged the WSCIJ to circulate the report as widely as possible to media organisations.

The Deputy Editor of The Eagle Online, Ms Juliana Francis, a member of the team of journalists and media managers who collected the data on the gender composition of the board and management of 111 media organisations that gave birth to the report, said the very detailed report was designed to push for an increased representation of women in news coverage and newsroom leadership.

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