As we may all know, Political journalism aims to provide voters with the information to formulate their own opinion and participate in community, local or national matters that will affect them.
Yesterday we updated a story sourced from Eswatini Observer which we clearly attributed the source in the story. It was however, brought to our attention by Bongile Mbingo who happens to be a group admin of a business forum and a Mayor for Ezulwini Municipal Council, that our headline “Covid19 patient died on Monday in private hospital” was actually misleading as the patient had not been tested positive. We had to then correct only the headline as the story clearly stated all details that was correct and can be seen on this link “Covid-19 suspect patient died on monday in private hospital“.
The fastest way news spread is by sharing the content via different media platforms which Bongile Mbingo saw the article’s headline and advised we change the headline as this might mislead our readers.
With panic we then consulted from other experts in the media industry to find out why authority would be alarmed with the article while it was also published on other media houses not sensetizing the fact that the headline will seem misleading and forgetting that the approach was based on the group policy since Bongile Mbingo, sent the message as a private chat message to call for the correction.
The approach was based on the fact that we shared the same group with Bongile Mbingo in the group that has different authorities since it is open to everyone in business including Health (nurses), Law enforcers (policemen), community leaders ( Councilors) etc. These authorities have the right to correct someone in the group for any wrong doing especially in line with the regulations that have just been passed for the COVID – 19.
Later on, The Health Minister Lizzie Nkosi clarified that no #COVID-19 death has been recorded in Eswatini so far. “Amongst the 16 negative #COVID-19 results received yesterday are those of a woman who passed away & was suspected to have contracted the virus. She tested negative for #COVID-19.”
This is meant to clarify that Bongile Mbingo, as a responsible citizen and the group administrator meant no harm but was helping to correct a slight error that might have caused panic to the Nation and this was not relevant to any above law and it was not in any way linked to politics related issues or involved the Ingwenyama as stated on the publication.
The authorities mentioned on the message that it had nothing to do with Ingwenyama or any use of power but was reffering to the Business Group which was overlooked just because Bongile Mbingo is well known in the Kingdom and it seemed as though she might have been referring to the Ingwenyama when she speaks of authority.
We still urge the nation to continue and follow the safe procedures, stay home, wash hands and listen to all advices instructed by the government.