The Chief Whip of Council in the City of Ekurhuleni, Cllr, Jongizizwe Dlabathi through his programme dubbed the ‘CHIEF WHIP’S SPECIAL MEDIA RECOGNITION INITIATIVE’ honored Ekurhuleni News and other community media houses for their relentless news coverage that kept the City of Ekurhuleni’s citizen informed during the Covid-19 pandemic.He held the initiative on the 1st of September 2020 which comprised of all community media houses that played an instrumental role in disseminating relevant news amid Covid-19.On the particular day various community media houses were given award plaques in appreciation of their coverage efforts.

The CEO of Ekurhuleni news Sabelo Sikakane, delightfully expressed that, “I have mixed emotions, I’m glad to have received this award plaque, we warmly appreciate what the Chief Whip, Cllr, Jongizizwe Dlabathi is doing for us, especially recognising and honouring us, we will continue to strive to be an informative medium that keeps the masses informed, we are sincerely grateful,” Sikakane jubilantly expressed.According to the Chief Whip of Council, “The impact of Covid-19 has been instant and severe, the media has not been spared, with the industry shrinking at a time of great need for robust journalism. According to SA National Editors’ Forum (SANEF), some journalists have lost jobs and income over the past months of the Covid-19 pandemic.“Moreover the Covid-19 pandemic has claimed some lives within the media fraternity, whilst others survived the pandemic,” Dlabathi alluded.He elaborated further saying, “It’s for these reasons that I’m honouring and acknowledging the media’s contribution in the fight against Covid-19, like any community media in South Africa, Community media in the City of Ekurhuleni is facing various challenges due to COVID-19 that has significantly affected their operations.

“Community media played a key role to reach and inform citizens in local languages during this unforeseen outbreak, especially the independent community media, it mainly operates with volunteer staff who are facing huge challenges that include compromised safety while commuting from their homes to radio stations or newsrooms, therefore, it’s important that government and other stakeholders intervene to support community media so that the sector is sustained after COVID-19,” said the Chief Whip, Cllr, Jongizizwe Dlabathi.

By Matampane Raymond Mokwena

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