With the surge in the number of Covid-19 cases in Liberia, female journalists from various media institutions on Wednesday, 10 June participated in a webinar organized by a female journalism group, SheWrites, SheLeads.
The webinar is the first of three series aimed at guiding journalists on how to report on a pandemic. During the webinar, Ruona Meyer, a Nigerian German – based journalist spoke on the topic “Tracking Accountability on the sales of masks and other supplies.”
She encouraged journalists to read documents specifically relating to the procurement of Covid-19 supplies from reputable institutions that will ensure accountability and transparency.
Ruona said journalists should begin investigating procurement processes of Covid-19 supplies for health facilities, mainly tools procured to treat infected patients in treatment centers. She is an Emmy-nominated, multimedia journalist with 17 years’ experience in print, radio, wire agency, TV and digital outlets across Nigeria, South Africa and the UK.
Ruona also spoke on journalists managing public fears during pandemic despite reporting, saying: “If you keep putting bad news in front of the people they will want to disengage in either listening to you or reading your news outlets.” Also, other panelists, Mr. Alaskai Moore Johnson, a Liberian journalist, presented on the topic “Staying Safe,” and expanded on how journalists should report on a pandemic.
Mr. Johnson cautioned the budding young women who are aspiring to become some of Liberia’s best journalists, to remain circumspect as they go into the field to gather news.
“No story is worth dying for. We will always want you the next day and all the other days to come for other stories not only Covid-19. So, do all to stay safe,” he said. “You need to keep observing all the health protocols as released by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO),” Mr. Johnson continued.
Stressing further that self-preservation being the ‘first law of nature’, he admonished that journalists should do so to keep safe, which extends to their families.
Mr. Johnson urged his fellow editors and newsroom managers to help to keep their reporters safe from harm’s way when there is danger in getting the pieces of information needed for a story. SheWrites, SheLeads is an organization that is grooming young women in becoming leaders and professional journalists.–Press release