In yet another Gender and Media Connect edition of the health and disaster reporting training workshop, journalists have been urged to give out factual information when reporting on health news for the benefit of the community.
This was said by renowned journalist and fact-checker Cris Chinaka who was part of the workshop, aimed at equipping journalists with a guide to effective health reporting.
“The health story is a very broad subject that offers you plenty of ideas to tackle from various angles. Always be factual when reporting because the community depend on journalists to give them information,” said Chinaka.
William Chikoto, also a media practitioner, added that journalists have an obligation to provide evidence-based stories.
“You have a responsibility to give trustworthy information to your audience. Health reporting is about evidence-based reporting, whatever you are writing must be well-sourced,” said Chikoto.
Health is divided into two that is public and private health. The training workshop noted that the media should not only focus on the public sector but must also play their role to look into the private health sector.
Meanwhile, Chinaka bemoaned the impacts of Covid-19 in the media sector which claimed the lives of journalists.
“The first Covid-19 death recorded in this country was a journalist Zororo Makamba, and others like Foster Dongozi followed later. That is the sad part of this pandemic. Globally it shifted our attention as the media because we are all focusing on Covid-19 and at the moment it remains the top story,” said Chinaka.
The media plays a central role in disaster reduction and management as it educates, build narratives, mobilize citizens and also informs public discourse.