By SALIHI ABUBAKAR BELLO, Kano:
Considering the essential nature of journalists in times of disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic,
Kano state government has pledges to provide palliatives for working journalists in Kano to enable them perform their duties diligently.
Speaking during a one-day workshop entitled “COVID-19: How Prepared Is The Media In Handling Disasters?” organized by the Kano state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), the state Commissioner of Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, hnited that the state government is very much aware of the challenges journalists face as this critical time.
According to him, “there is need for government to see how it can support the media in this time of COVID-19 pandemic. Whatever support that is going to be given to other sectors, the media will surely be considered.
“We will work together with the media and see how we can overcome this pandemic which has caused serious harm to the entire world.”
Garba who is the chairman of the occasion described journalists as very important professionals whose services remain critical in this unfortunate era of COVID-19.
He noted that, if perchance there is a total shutdown as it is being experienced in Lagos, Ogun, Abuja and Kaduna, residents would depend on no other people, but journalists to be informed on the latest about the dreaded Corona virus.
Garba however, advised journalists to live above the board and remain responsible while disseminating information concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, pointing out that there was need for journalists to be guided by the Code and Ethics of the noble profession at all times.
He described the workshop as very timely and needful and charged participants to tap from the knowledge of resource persons who were there to make presentations.
Also speaking at the workshop, Hajia Sa’a Ibrahim, Director General, Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria (BON), noted that journalists need support from both Federal and the state governments at this period of COVID-19 pandemic.
Hajiya Ibrahim who is also the Managing Director of Abubakar Rimi Television (ARTV), Kano, urged journalists to be conscious of their safety while reporting disaster situation such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his paper presentation, Malam Adamu Ladan who is the Managing Director of Vision FM spoke on “Media Perspective In Handling COVID-19,” during which he urged managers of media organizations to draw budgets that can cover the interest and welfare of journalists during disaster situation such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also in his paper entitled “Preventive Measures Against COVID-19,” Dr. Bashir Lawal from the Kano state Ministry of Health led the participants into the history of COVID-19 pandemic, how to prevent the virus, as well as the best ways to remain safe and also inform the public on the dreaded pandemic.