Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) held two web conferences on ‘Reporting and Safety for Journalists’ on 25th and 27th March 2020. To address the COVID-19 situation by providing awareness and best practices for the journalist community that educate and keep the larger public community informed, SLPI undertook this cause.
The web conferences moderated in Sinhala and Tamil languages were led by Dr. Nihal Abeysinghe, former chief Epidemiologist, Deputy Director for Institute for Research and Development, consultant for World Health Organization Regional Office South East Asia, and Dr. Vasan Ratnasingam, Secretary of Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children Branch and General Committee Member of Government Medical Officers’ Association respectively.
A total of 64 participants from print, electronic and online media and media activists, engaged in a fruitful discussion that cleared doubts regarding the COVID-19 virus, implications of its outbreak for the country from a medical, media and national perspective along with an emphasis of the social responsibility that the journalists have in reporting during COVID-19 outbreak.
The spontaneous dialogue and sharing of insight allowed by the web conference was appreciated by many that found the event timely and productive.