By Muhammad Auwal Ibrahim
International Press Centre, Nigeria’s foremost media capacity development organisation has organised a one-day virtual workshop on safety and trauma management for journalists covering the covid-19 pandemic in the northern region on 29th April 2021.
The event which was held virtually via zoom was conducted in collaboration with the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX).
“The webinar is supported by the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), a global network defending and promoting free expression, to help journalists build their technical and journalistic skills on the essentials of safety in investigative reporting, digital security, and management of post-traumatic stress disorder.” Lanre Arogundade, executive director said.
“The workshop will enable journalists to manage difficult safety challenges faced while carrying out their work. Participating journalists are expected to be able to practice with increased confidence and manage dangerous situations effectively.”
“The participants of the workshop were drawn across print, broadcast and online journalists and bloggers who were assaulted or harassed in the process of covering the current Covid-19 pandemic in the Northern states of Nigeria.”
The workshop was centered around three themes namely; safety reporting and the challenges online and offline, safety best practices in the investigation, coverage, and reportage of dangerous assignments including pandemics and lastly managing stress, trauma, and mental health challenges online and offline.
The presentations emphasised on the participants to secure their devices for their safety.
They were also told to install only licensed apps on their devices. Other recommended safety apps include antivirus (Avast), Full Disk Encryption (Android: Security -> Encrypt Phone / SD card), AppLock, Firefox, and UBlock.
While the second presenter, Fisayo Soyombo, an investigative journalist spoke on dangerous assignments: lessons on safety from the field
He stressed the need for journalists covering pandemics to ensure they have security over funds, avoid endangering family and friends, seek professional advice, be brave, and ensure the highest standards of protective equipment.