Researchers urged to collaborate with journalists for effective communication
To build trust and confidence among the two parties, it was imperative for journalists to be involved throughout the research process to better understand the issues and educate the public appropriately.
At a media capacity workshop on the theme: “Effective Use of Media to Promote Urban Health Systems for Better Outcomes,” the journalists proposed collaboration between the media and researchers to effect change through increased reportage on subject matters.
They said researchers should see journalists as partners, involve them in their processes to better understand the reports and projects instead of briefing them after the whole reports were done.
The two-day workshop was organised by the Community-Led Responsive And Effective Urban Health Systems (CHORUS), Ghana in collaboration with Women, Media and Change (WOMEC).
CHORUS, Ghana is a multi-country research programme consortium focusing on building resilient urban health systems.
It is also part of a multi-country consortium focused on linking communities, local governments and health workers to support life cycle health promotion and policies, programmes and services at the household and community level in urban poor neighbourhoods in Ghana.
The programme aims at undertaking research that responds to the practical challenges of delivering equitable health services in urban areas of four partner countries; Ghana Bangladesh, Nepal and Nigeria.
Madam Adwoa Kyerewaa, a journalist with KESBEN Television said non-involvement of journalists in research projects sometimes led to inaccuracies and lapses in reports adding that understanding of some words, terms and jargons were very important.
Dr Charity Binka, Executive Director of WOMEC, urged journalists to build strong trust and confidence with the researchers by reflecting on the principles and values that guard journalists in their coverage of health-related topics.
They should ensure accuracy, reliability and unbiased information dissemination to the public and protect the privacy and dignity of the individuals they report on.
She advised them to approach their reporting with sensitivity and empathy, recognising the human impact of health issues.
Dr Binka urged the journalists to also avoid sensationalism and stigmatisation and minimise harm to individuals or groups to gain confidence from researchers for easy flow of information.
“In so doing journalists can help promote informed decision making, improve health literacy and contribute to a more informed and engaged society,” she said.
CHORUS on their part accepted to collaborate with the media achieve their goals in urban health systems improvement.