The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) and the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) have today launched a COVID-19 Reporting Handbook, a quick reference guide designed to help journalists to strike a balance between staying safe and maintaining professionalism, while covering the COVID-19 pandemic.
Developed by NUSOJ with the support of the IOM and the European Union, the handbook covers what journalists need to know about the pandemic, tips about how they can minimise chances of contracting COVID-19 and professional obligations while reporting on the trends of the pandemic, its victims, and the rights of migrants and returnees who continue to be perceived by many people, to be a risk factor. The guide also awakens journalists’ consciousness about Sexual and Gender based violence in the context of COVID-19.
“Journalists need to be alive before they can bring their stories to their audiences. This guide is an important intervention because it gives journalists an accurate assessment of the risks and the confidence to approach the COVID-19 pandemic from a point of knowledge’’ said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.
“We are very delighted to launch this booklet today that also addresses fake news and misinformation as it is important for journalists to keep their head above the sea of misinformation, disinformation and fake news – which, in times like these, are flooding social media” added Osman.
Ewa Naqvi, Deputy Chief of Mission of IOM said: “It is very fulfilling for us to be associated with this work which is an effort to preserve the personal and professional integrity of Somali journalists. COVID-19 is a complex and dangerous disease that induces fear in anybody. We are happy that with this guide, journalists can go about their duty of keeping society informed, with more confidence.”
Available in both English and Somali, the booklet is available to journalists in all regions of Somalia at no cost. The booklet has been developed through the support of the EU IOM Joint Initiative on Migrant Protection and Reintegration funded by the European Union.