Health journalists attending a three-day workshop on COVID19 reporting in Yaoundé have been told to be the “first fact checkers” of every information they intend to publish.
This is one of the most important professional secrets revealed to the health journalists on the second day of the training on COVID-19 reporting.
Crtv’s Deputy Director General, Emmanuel Wongibe, the main facilitator of the workshop says journalists must start off by mastering the science of the disease they report on.
But beyond knowing the science of the disease, journalists are also required to acquaint themselves with the way science works, especially medical science.
At the era of speed science, it becomes incumbent for every health journalist to familiarize themselves with the how science approaches health issues. This will ensure that journalists remain factual, informative and relevant.
To improve communication on COVID-19, knowing how concepts and terms relating the pandemic are used in the scientific milieu is primordial.
During the pandemic, misinformation and disinformation has become rife, casting a shadow of doubt on the quality of reports on the disease . One of the major priorities for health journalists reporting on COVID-19 is to fight against these malpractices to ensure that accurate information goes to the public.
In nearly two years of the pandemic, pseudo scientists have multiplied, coupled with the speed science which continuously brings in so much information on the pandemic as it evolves. Most of this information contains both fake and credible information which journalists must be able to fact check with the help of online tools.
Kathy Neba Sina