Working with the media to keep the food systems discussion on the agenda

By Bwambale Bernard, Nutrition Program Manager, KRC Uganda.

Stakeholders in the food lab have continuously flagged the idea of creating mass awareness on issues of food systems, nutrition and food safety. Accordingly, KRC in partnership with Iles de Paix and HIVOS purposely undertook to engage the media in Tooro sub region through their journalists’ associations by training them in food systems, nutrition and food safety. The training aimed at equipping them with evidence-based information that they can cascade to the community through their different media outlets. 30 journalists from the different local and national media were trained and introduced to the key elements of food systems, including the actors, food and nutrition, malnutrition and food safety.

Upon completion of the training, the media practitioners and KRC committed to the following:

  • Ensure prioritization of food and nutrition messaging in the media
  • To be at the forefront of food and nutrition advocacy, research, reporting and community awareness
  • The media houses shall purposively create weekly slots to relay messages on food systems and nutrition
  • To be more proactive in documenting and reporting food and nutrition related news and stories in the different media
  • Food and nutrition researches shall be disseminated using the different media channels for popularization and information utilization
  • KRC and development partners to continue availing research findings on food and nutrition to the media for dissemination
  • KRC, development partners and media to collaborate in expanding community sensitization on different issues of food systems
  • KRC and development partners to develop information materials to guide journalists in their engagements
  • The media houses to prioritize hosting food systems and nutrition experts to relay information to the public
  • KRC and development partners to continually build capacity of the journalists in new and emerging issues of food systems

Working with media and building their capacities is part and parcel of KRC’s agenda setting strategy to bridge the knowledge gap on food systems. The idea is to harness the role of media influencing what people know about food systems and creating a sense of urgency about those issues.