Coronavirus: Covid-19 Online Safety Guidelines for journalists in Zimbabwe launched
The Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) with the support from the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa (UNESCO ROSA) and the European Union (EU) launched the “Covid-19 Online Safety Guidelines”, a guide to health and safety for journalists reporting during the global pandemic in the country.
The development of the Covid-19 safety guidelines was supported through the #CoronaVirusFacts Project funded by the European Union. The Project seeks to strengthen the capacities of media professionals to report on Covid-19 along with the Media Alliance of Zimbabwe (MAZ), the Zimbabwe National Editors Forum (ZINEF) and the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ).
Speaking during the launch in Harare UNESCO ROSA Regional Advisor for Communication and Information, Mr. Al Amin Yusuph said the guidelines came at a right time and can be applied in future health emergencies.
“If possible, from the lessons learnt from developing these guidelines let’s exchange and develop these guidelines for all other health emergencies”. Al Amin Yusuph.
He also called for continuous updating of the safety guidelines taking note of the changing Covid-19 circumstances.
Speaking at the same occasion outgoing ZUJ President Mr. Michael Chideme proposed the translation of the guidelines into local languages and highlighted the need to ensure that they would also be accessible to various groups including persons with disabilities.
Mr. Chideme went on to urge journalists to continue following the World Health Organisation (WHO) stipulated rules and most importantly, taking note of the guidelines when reporting on Covid-19.
Zimbabwe National Editor’s Forum (ZINEF) Director, Njabulo Ncube said, the guidelines were essential and urged editors to endorse the guidelines that ZUJ and partners have produced.”
Mr. Ncube also urged the media to remain professional all the time, avoiding speculation, and sticking to verified information to counter the rampant spread of misinformation, disinformation and fake news ever since the outbreak of the pandemic.
ZUJ Programmes Officer, Mr. Eric Matingo, expressed his appreciation to UNESCO, EU, ZINEF, VMCZ, MAZ and other partners for making the crafting and launch of the guide ‘Reporting Safely’ a success.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).