MISA Malawi Urges Media Houses and Journalists to be Vigilant During Lockdown
MISA Malawi has urged on the need for Media houses and Journalists in the country to take all necessary safety and precautionary measures during the lockdown amidst COVID 19 pandemic.
Government on Tuesday, April 14, announced a 21 days lockdown which commences on 18th April, however other sectors will still be operational.
Hospitals, Filling stations, media fraternity are among the sectors that will still be operational during the lockdown.
Following this, MISA Malawi has advised journalists and media houses to observe lockdown guidelines which include proper sanitation, and on regular basis disinfect equipment such as cameras, recorders and microphones.
According to MISA Malawi Chairperson Teresa Ndanga, it is also vital for media houses to provide citizens with accurate and credible information during this time and that media houses must ensure that all journalists on duty have proper identification cards.
Ndanga has however emphasized on the need for safety of journalists from security personnel’s saying Misa is optimistic that journalists will not be assaulted when working during this period.
"They have also made an assurance to us having spoken to the inspector of police, that was our major worry that even where journalists have their identity card, sometimes police do not respect media freedom and do not allow journalists to go about doing their job, In this particular situation I would like to be optimistic following their assurance," Ndanga stated.
Executive Director for Media Council of Malawi Moses Kaufa, has backed the idea saying it necessary, but has pleaded with Government to assist some media houses that might not have the financial muscle to adhere to some of these measures.
"What we would want is to also request government through the ministry of Information to be able to provide some resources to other media houses other than the public service broadcaster alone," Kaufa said.
There are currently 16 COVID 19 cases in the country.