Zimbabwe’s journalists received personal protective equipment worth US$29,000 Friday, a donation which will go a long way in motivating them as they report on the Covid-19 pandemic.
Journalists have been on the front line reporting on the pandemic with statistics showing that 403 journalists have died from Covid-19 in 50 countries.
The PPEs were sourced by the International Media Support, Fojo Media Institute and Media Alliance of Zimbabwe with the funding coming from the European Union Delegation to Zimbabwe.
During the PPE distribution event ceremony, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services director Crispen Makoni said: “I want to thank Media Alliance of Zimbabwe and its partners at Advertising Media Association (ADMA) for the support for the provision of the PPEs for the media which will enhance journalistic work and protect the media on the front line of reporting about the pandemic.”
The PPEs includes facemasks, sanitisers, reusable overalls and thermometers and will be distributed to journalists under the ADMA, community media, online content creators and freelance journalists’ groupings as well as media civil society groups.
EU head of delegation to Zimbabwe Timo Olkkonen said this year was a difficult year for the journalists as they were on the forefront to give people information at the peak of the pandemic.
“The pandemic has exposed how important it is for information to flow freely and to save us basis for decision making by both government and citizens,” Olkkonen said.
AB Communications chief executive officer ,Susan Makore said the media should play a key role in conscientising the public about the pandemic.
“As media it is our role to be focusing on reportage of COVID-19 pandemic and looking at the implications so that as Zimbabweans we remain vigilant,” Makore said.
The provision of PPE in the previous phase and currently is therefore a small way of supporting and enabling the media’s role as a provider of essential services during the pandemic and safeguarding journalists from the disease as they work tirelessly to keep communities informed and safe.