MLW Empowers Media on Health Research Reporting
The Malawi Liverpool Wellcome (MLW) Trust has trained journalists on health research reporting through its Journalist in Training (JIR) programme in Blantyre.
The training tackled issues on factors influencing implementation of neo-natal packages, genetic determinants of neglected tropical diseases and maternal and fetal health.
It also discussed issues on health research reporting in the newsrooms.
MLW Trust Media Engagement Coordinator, Rachel Mhango, says the core objective of the training was to build the capacity of journalists whilst empowering them in basic health research knowledge.
She says the training also helps researchers understand challenges in health reporting.
“The media need to be conversant with health research science issues because the media serve the public and help in shaping opinions on various health issues; thus, encourage the adoption of good health behaviors.
“Our expectation is that journalists will have adequate skills and knowledge to pursue complex health research issues. We also hope that they will embrace new concepts and techniques focusing on fact-based and in-depth science reporting of health research issues,” she said.
Linda Mzunga, one of the trainees, says she is wiser than she was before the training.
“I am one of the people who was meant to believe in some misconceptions about maternal health. When I was pregnant myself, I was told not to go for the ultra-sound scanning on grounds that it was not good for my unborn child.
“As a reporter, misconceptions such as that one, have potential to compromise my reporting on maternal health. I am now wiser because I understand that is not true. That is just one of more lessons that have nurtured my knowledge in this training,” she said.