In view of the 9pm-5am curfew under the recently gazetted Covid-19 containment rules, Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi has called upon all journalists to ensure that they possess and always carry with them a valid accreditation or employment identity card at all times.
The Covid-19 prevention, containment and management rules stipulate that no person must be found wandering around socially between 9pm and 5am.
A statement from MISA Chairperson Teresa Ndanga said the media body engaged the Malawi Police Service after noticing that this has potential to affect the work of journalists, especially those who may be working during these hours.
“The police have assured us that journalists, by the nature of their work, will be treated as those belonging to the essential services group as long as they have IDs and/or demonstrate proof of work.
“MISA Malawi would therefore like to urge law enforcement agencies and officers to ensure that media freedom, freedom of expression and right to information are safeguarded during the period of implementation of the Covid-19 containment rules”. reads the statement
She appealed to all journalists to read, understand and strictly adhere to the Covid-19 containment rules and work together with security officers on duty where necessary.
Being among essential services under Schedule 7 of the rules, she urged practitioners to utilize this opportunity to provide accurate and credible information as we all strive to contain the pandemic.
“We appeal to media houses to help in fighting fake news around the pandemic and create a positive narrative that gives hope while underscoring the importance of strict adherence to Covid-19 preventive measures.
“Journalists and media houses should also ensure strict observance to all Covid-19 preventive measures and quickly seek medical and psychosocial support when need arises”.