Rwanda Journalists trained to tackle Misinformation on COVID-19 pandemic

Sixty-six (66) journalists from Rwanda have been trained on promoting public access to fact-based information during the Covid-19 pandemic. The virtual training workshop, held on 19 June 2020, was organized by Rwanda Media Commission (RMC) and supported by UNESCO. It aimed at equipping journalists with requisite skills to effectively serve as frontline workers during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The workshop was organized in partnership with Rwanda Media Network Against HIV/AIDS and for Health Promotion (ABASIRWA), Internews, and Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC). Participants were drawn from different journalist cadres, including: reporters, editors, producers, and citizen journalists from public, private and community media networks in Rwanda.

Rwanda has suffered the spread of false information and rumors on social media platforms related to the pandemic. This has hindered containment of the virus, which requires dissemination of factual, verified, scientific information by the public. The training covered topics including: best practices in health reporting, media response to rumors and misinformation, the pandemic and community engagement, social media sourcing and fact-checking, and ethical principles for journalism practice in Rwanda.

In his opening remarks, the Executive secretary of RMC, Mr. Emmanuel Mugisha, stated that the training was timely for the media sector to debunk, address, and combat myths, disinformation and misinformation related to the pandemic in Rwanda