HARARE –Some 20 journalists from Zimbabwe’s leading media organisations, namely Zimpapers, Masvingo Mirror, Newsday, Daily News and AB Communications, went through a week-long media safety training programme by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) in Harare recently.
The basics of the training programme conducted by Stephen Smith, a media safety from Kenya, Richard Namu, a media safety from Kenya and Zahara Juma, a therapist, also from Kenya, were dealing with riotous situations, first aid and post-traumatic stress.After the training, the trainees drawn from middle and upper management were expected to return to their newsrooms and train the rest of the staff to be aware of safety measures.
The programme was timely as it took place a few months ahead of Zimbabwe’s national general elections, which are usually volatile and violent.Opening the workshop, Smith said after the workshop journalists should be able to deal with riotous situations, do first aid on their wounded colleagues and how to deal with post-traumatic stress after encountering disturbing scenes in their line of duty. WAN-IFRA is a non-profit, non-governmental organization which is made up of 76 national newspaper associations, 12 news agencies, 10 regional press organisations, and many individual newspaper executives in 100 countries.
The association was founded in 1948, and as of 2011, represented more than 18,000 publications globally.WAN’s objectives are to defend and promote freedom of the press, to support the development of newspaper publishing, and to foster global cooperation. It has provided consultation for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations (UN), and the Council of Europe.