By Temitope Akintoye,
The International Press Center (IPC), Lagos, has revealed that it is set to train journalists on best practices of coronavirus coverage methods with aim to ensure that concise reports are released to the public and that newsmen are kept safe in course of dispatching their duties.
The organization said that ahead of the training process, it had released an advisory protocol, detailing processes to be followed by journalists towards adequate reporting of covid-19 related incidents and in order to make adequate contributions towards the successful curtailment of coronavirus in the country.
Executive Director of the media capacity development organization, Lanre Arogundade, said that the covid19 pandemic was a novel situation which was being reported for the first time and that it was, therefore, necessary that the body make directions available on how best journalists could go about making concise reports without unnecessarily endangering their lives.
In a statement released through IPC Communications Officer, Olutoyin Ayoade, on Wednesday, Arogundade, who confirmed launch of the journalist advisory document, stated that increased coronavirus incidence in the nation pointed to a high risk of contact by pressmen on the reporting frontline.
He added that the released document posed answers to mitigate such possible health and security risks as could be faced by journalists in the line of duty and that the training programs would be organized in coming days to ensure that media organizations were conversant with the global reporting best practices, as laid out in the advisory.
“The Covid-19 infection is spreading to more states and all journalists, whether on the field or not, should benefit from relevant knowledge… It is against this background that the advisory is divided into three parts – Safety, Ethics and Professionalism and Social Responsibility,”
“The advisory derives from and complements existing national, regional and media standards for crisis reporting”, he said.
The IPC boss urged media houses and news agencies to take advantage of the newly launched advisory as well as the training sessions for their staff members, which he said would avail journalists the opportunity to ask questions and share their learning experiences.
“The trainings would enable journalists to share information and ask questions based on their experience on the field and in turn receive more professional support,”
“The document was developed pursuant to the objectives of Component 4b: Support to Media of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria and is available to read or download on http://www.ipcng.org/covid-19-advisory-for-journalists/ “.