The International Press Center, Lagos, has launched a media advisory for journalists reporting the COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria.

Executive Director of IPC, Mr Lanre Arogundade, said journalists disseminating information to help combat the pandemic were being exposed to health and security risks, which must be addressed through diverse means. 

Noting that journalists covering a pandemic for the first time needed as much professional support as possible, Arogundade said the advisory became necessary as the COVID-19 infection was spreading to more states and all journalists, whether on the field or not, should benefit from relevant knowledge.

He said, "It is against this background that the advisory is divided into three parts – safety, ethics and professionalism and social responsibility.

"The advisory derives from and complements existing national, regional and media standards for crisis reporting.”

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.

He added, "The trainings would enable journalists to share information and ask questions based on their experience on the field and in turn receive more professional support.

"Journalists should maintain and observe the minimum prescription for social distancing and body contact as recommended by the relevant health authorities.

"Journalists should ensure all equipment, camera, microphone cover, midget, etc, are thoroughly disinfected and decontaminated at the end of every assignment. 

“Persons responsible for handling the equipment should be made fully aware in advance and trained on how to safely clean the equipment.”

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