Media Expert Zarina Geloo Tips Reporters On Effective Coverage Of Health Matters
By Kelvin Mbewe
Health reporters in Lusaka Zambia where over the weekend given tips on how to thrive in reporting on health issues by a health journalists Zarina Geloo that has been practicing for over four decades.
Ms Geloo called on health reporters to report correctly on health matters as wrong messages have serious consequences on people’s lives.
The health expert also emphasized on empathy as being at the core of health reporting.
She said health reporters must exercise empathy with the subject being reported on heath matters and must avoid drama, hype and sensation.
She was speaking at a media engagement where she gave an example of how wrong messages on covid 19 would have impacted negatively on humans.
“Imagine how many people we would have lost if journalists where spreading false rumors that covid 19 did not exist,” she said.
Ms Geloo has therefore called on health reporters to investigate on covid 19 stories rather than reporting from press briefings.
“Develop a skill of embedding things in your mind; it’s annoying but you have to stay with it because that is who you are. There was a time when most members of parliament tested positive to Covid 19 and a follow up story revealed that they attended a wedding where it was discovered that they contracted it from,’’ she said.
She also advised health reporters to develop a good network of sources that help with simplifying information on health.