MISA Malawi guidelines for journalists in the wake of Covid-19
As the number of Covid-19 cases continue to rise, MISA Malawi would like to inform the membership that the sector is increasingly becoming affected with some journalists testing positive for the virus.
During this period where most professions are working from home, journalists have had to continue reporting for duty including covering events where they interact with sources. While this is commendable as they continue to keep the nation informed, MISA Malawi would like to appeal to the membership to exercise caution and follow all precautionary measures as they carry out their duties.
It is important for the media to adapt and ensure that both reporters and sources are protected by following health guidelines and the following:
- Where possible, journalists should do telephone or questionnaire-based interviews as opposed to face-to-face interviews.
- Where there is need for a face to face interview, especially for television journalists, social distance should be observed.
- Journalists should only attend press conferences where all precautionary Covid-19 measures are in place, including social distancing and use of hand sanitizer and face masks.
- Avoid group interviews after a press conference.
- Wear face masks at the work place and on assignments
- Ensure gadgets are not being used by multiple individuals unless each has had to sanitize before and after using them.
MISA Malawi is further urging all media houses to have in-house Covid-19 prevention policies and/or measures which should be enforced.
We believe the media is central in the fight against Covid-19. We also believe that the nature of our work is risky and requires extra care to ensure that we are protected and do not end up as agents of spreading the virus but remain effective platforms for accurate information on the pandemic.
About MISA Malawi
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi was founded in 1996. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.