Government has hailed the Malawi Red Cross for supporting media houses in preventing against COVID-19.
Director of Information in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology Mzati Nkolokosa
made the remarks today when the Malawi Red Cross held a Media Orientation on COVID-19 in Lilongwe.
Nkolokosa said the support – comprising of soap, sanitisers and face masks – will go a long way in protecting journalists and create an enabling environment for their operation.
He, therefore, called on the media fraternity to improve in their service delivery, noting there are notable gaps.
“I took an interest and did a research of my own. I established that of all stories published so far, 80% of them are quoting politicians. COVID-19 is a health story. And scientists should dominate,” said Nkolokosa.
In her remarks, MISA-Malawi Chairperson Teresa Ndanga called upon all media institutions in the country to ensure that their journalists are safe from the risk of COVID-19 infection.
Ndaga observed that journalists are at high risk of contracting the virus due to the nature of their job.
“Journalists are frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19. Whether at the studio or in the field, the risk is evident,” she said with an air of caution.
Ndaga emphasized on the need for media house to provide appropriate accessories to safegurad themselves against the disease.
“Journalists come in contact with various sources on daily basis which puts them at high risk of the virus. This does not mean the work of journalists should stop but media houses must priotise safety of their staff by providing right protective resources and adhering to the safety and hygiene measures put in place by the government”, said Ndaga.
She has since appealed to media practitioners to prioritize their safety in pursuit of stories.
Executive Director of Media Council of Malawi Moses Kaufa concured with Ndaga saying the pandemic has come at a time the media is already challenged in various aspects.
He therefore urged all journalists to be mindful of their own physical safety when conducting their duties during the pandemic saying their safety is very critical.
Malawi Red Cross Society Director of Programs Prisca Chisala said the organization held the training so that when the media is giving out information about the virus, they are also safe.
Currently, Malawi has recorded 36 COVID-19 cases – 5 have recovered and 28 patients are currently receiving treatment while 3 others succumbed to the disease.
iHubOnline #livestreamed part of the official opening of the training organised by the Malawi Red Cross. You can watch here watch here!