Media Council of Malawi (MCM), a self-regulatory media professional organisation which promotes professionalism in the media industry, has urged journalists in the country to embrace precautionary measures amid COVID-19 pandemic.
MCM gave the advice through its statement, signed by its National Governing Council (NGC) chairperson, Professor Wiseman Chijere Chirwa and its Executive Director, Moses Kaufa.
The council said it is aware that there are chances that the coronavirus crisis can aggravate an already challenging environment for the media, which often lack capacity and resources, but serves the most vulnerable communities.
Reads part of the statement: “The council, therefore, calls on all media practitioners, relevant Government Institutions, organisations working with the media and all those involved with the media in the field to ensure and improve safety of journalists.”
Among other issues highlighted in the statement, the council has urged journalists to source as much information as possible about the pandemic.
Journalists have also been advised to wear appropriate protective clothing and gear and ensure that they are adequately trained to live and work in the “challenging environment”.
The statement further asked the journalists to always inform their news desk officers on their location of duty so that they can always and easily be traced.
In conclusion, the council has challenged the journalists to disseminate information which is verified, credible and from reliable sources.
Meanwhile, as of March 7, 2020 Malawi had registered 8 confirmed cases with a single death recorded.