Northern Region based journalists have described as worrisome failure by both Government and Non-Governmental Organizations to include them in committees formulated to spearhead the fight against the novel Coronavirus.
This came out on Thursday in Mzuzu during an interface meeting on COVID-19 response, organized by SOS Children’s Village.
Nyika Media Club President Joseph Mwale says while it is vital for journalists to check against misinformation when publishing news on COVID-19, it is also important for Government and Non-Governmental Organizations to include them in committees formed to allow them have the latest information for best workmanship.
Mwale said for months now journalists have only been used as tools to disseminate information on COVID-19 as their duty, disregarding the crucial role they play in informing the mass.
"We hear there are many committees that the council has set up, but I've not heard anything about the media. Funny thing is they would want the media to help in disseminating all that is discussed in each and every cluster committee meeting. Why not just include the journalists from the word go? We are part of the solution," said Mwale.
Programs of Director for SOS Children’s Village Mzuzu Program, George Kondowe says the concerns by journalists are relevant especially now when misinformation on Covid-19 is rife among communities.
Kondowe therefore stressed the need to include journalists at all levels in the committees to assist them in the dissemination of true information.
"It's important for them to have a deeper understanding about COVID-19, because there is a lot of misinformation and we know journalists are at the centre of disseminating information," said Kondowe.
Mzimba North District Health Office Public Relations Officer Lovemore Kawayi says the interface is also one way of equipping journalists with information they can use to protect themselves from the virus.