Journalists trained in public health reporting

Journalists at the training

Journalists have been trained in public health reporting amid the COVID-19 pandemic which has seen misinformation taking centre stage.

Newspaper, television, national radio and community radio station, online journalists converged in Liwonde where Youth Net and Counseling (Yoneco) with Misa Malawi undertook the capacity building.

The training which was interactive in nature saw journalists, health professions engage on topics like misinformation, ethics, sources, verification, telling positive stories and avoiding scaring the public among others.

Executive Director for Yoneco, MacBain Mkandawire said journalist are important in disseminating information: "We rely quite a lot on information being passed on from journalists. We have lot of trust and confidence in what they tell us.

"They need to put out correct information to the public considering misinformation on COVID-19."

Mcbain Mkandawire
Yoneco Executive Director Mcbain Mkandawire spoke of the need for journalists to put out correct information 

He went on to talk about issues such as the religious perspective where people get who get vaccinated feel they will be compromised. 

"There are things to do with pressure on the people, the mental aspect. It's like when you get COVID-19, it is a death sentence and that has it's own implications on how people are handling it.

Cross section of journalists
Cross section of journalists

"People have lost jobs, the question is how can journalists report on those job losses in the context of COVID-19 because when one loses a job they lose their livelihoods and has mental impact.

"So we are saying they are essential but need skills in correcting information," he said.

Radio Maria journalist Linda Nyundo: it will help my programming 

One of the participants, Linda Nyundo from Radio Maria in an interview said the training will improve her programming. 

"It was very important because we have knowledge of what COVID-19 is all about.

"We have known facts about the rumors we have been hearing about the vaccine and the virus it self.

"There are so many lessons we have learned as of now we will improve in our programing aswell as in our storytelling about COVID-19, in short we will be telling people the truth about the virus," Nyundo said.