VMCZ , EU AND UNESCO PREMIER COVID 19 REPORTING GUIDELINE BOOKLET TO BYO JOURNALISTS

By Sibonginkosi Maphosa

Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) in conjunction with the European Union (EU) and UNESCO on Tuesday , unpacked a Covid 19 reporting guideline booklet to Bulawayo journalists.

At an event held at a private venue , VMCZ director , Loughty Dube challenged journalists to search and create credible sources when it comes to Covid 19 stories other than relying on one source.

Dube said journalists must use the right terminology in their reporting of Covid 19 stories, citing the insensitive story where one Journalist described a person with Covid 19 as case number 15 , a description that faced a lot of criticism as it stigmatized the person who was suffering from Covid 19 .

Dube told Journalists to avoid causing alarm and despondency in their reporting as this was going to send the general public to a panic mode as the virus was still new and everyone is still confused about it.

“Journalists must know the right experts to comment on issues. I want to refuse that there are no epidemiologists who can comment on Covid 19 , if you look you will find them . The problem is that you as journalists want to use people who are already talking as sources and yet experts are there.”

The booklet titled , ” Covid 19 , reporting guidelines for Zimbabwean Media ” was compiled by a seasoned journalist, Media Studies lecturer at Lupane State University and Sunday News Editor ,Limukani Ncube.

The project which was funded by European Union and UNESCO seeks to equip media personnel with the right tools in Covid 19 reporting.

The training workshop saw senior Journalists from different media houses converging in the debut launch of the booklet which is also scheduled to be unpacked in Midlands Province on Wednesday.

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