The Role of the Media in Communicating Messages on Gender: a case study of ZANIS
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There is no doubt that gender matters if properly communicated can lead to national development. Clearly, the role of media in communicating messages on gender cannot be over emphasised. ZANIS claims to be closer to the people but the question is how effective have they been in communicating messages on gender. The purpose of the study was to establish the effectiveness of media in communicating messages on gender. The study focused on assessing the effectiveness of ZANIS at the point of gathering information from the field and disseminating it to other media houses and the public. Triangulation of methods was employed and research tools included a questionnaire, in- depth interviews, content analysis and direct observations. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyze the data quantitatively. The other data was analyzed qualitatively. The findings in this study revealed that journalists at the institution, though, understood gender concepts, they lacked the understanding of gender mainstreaming which was the integral part to gender balanced reporting. The study also reviewed that journalists at the institution understood the relationship between Gender and National Development but they lacked training in gender leading to lack of analytical skills to balance gender in their reporting. The study however recommends that journalists at ZANIS should undergo intensive training in gender mainstreaming to impart analytical skills for effective balanced news coverage.