Zim journos urged to think outside the box

Members of the public and journalists watch as they are escorted into the court.

THE United States has challenged journalists in Zimbabwe to think outside the box when covering global pandemics such as the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.


Deputy country co-ordinator for the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) in Zimbabwe, Douglas Johnson, said journalists should be mindful that there are many stories to consider during the pandemic and many different audiences too.

“As media practitioners, we need a different mindset and to think outside the box,” Johnson said on Tuesday while welcoming journalists at a webinar on effective reporting on pandemics.
“It is just to remind you that there are many stories to consider during this new pandemic; many audiences to consider when choosing which stories to cover.”

The webinar was facilitated by Bill Hinchberger, a veteran journalist based in Paris, France, who took journalists through the essentials of pandemic reporting, including sources and resources for support and information.

“We are rethinking things at this point in time (including) relationships with our families, friends, and other people. It’s time to rethink what we are doing as journalists,” Hinchberger said.

The US has so far provided nearly US$6,2 million to support the Zimbabwe COVID-19 response through PEPFAR, United States Agency for International Development and Centres for Disease Control.

The world economic powerhouse has also pledged an additional US$230 million to Zimbabwe from October 2020 to September 2021.

In addition to the monetary aid, the US has also handed support for laboratory and surveillance strengthening, including the strengthening of the human resources assisting in Zimbabwe’s COVID-19 response.