The International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos, Nigeria, today formally launched an advisory to aid journalists in the course of covering and reporting the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
The Executive Director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, said in a statement yesterday that generations of Nigerian journalists were covering a pandemic for the first time and therefore needed as much professional support as possible.
Arogundade also said that journalists were being exposed to heath and security risks as front men and women in the effort to disseminate information that would help combat the pandemic.
“It is against this background that the advisory is divided into three parts – Safety, Ethics and Professionalism and Social Responsibility,” he said.
Mr. Arogundade said the advisory had also become necessary because the COVID-19 infection was spreading to more states and all journalists, whether on the field or not, should benefit from relevant knowledge.
“The advisory derives from and complements existing national, regional and media standards for crisis reporting,” he stated.
The IPC Director said the release of the advisory would be followed by capacity trainings for journalists in partnership with other media and communication professional bodies in the next couple of days.
“The trainings will enable journalists to share information and ask questions based on their experience on the field and in turn receive more professional support,” Arogundade added.
According to him, the advisory was developed pursuant to the objectives of Component 4b: Support to Media of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria, although the responsibility for the content was solely that of IPC.