AIPS:Sports reporters challenged to combat racism, Covid-19

By Peter Kanjere

Sports Writer, kick442.com-Malawi


Over 300 sports journalists drawn from across the world celebrated the
98th anniversary of International Sports Press Association (AIPS) on World Sports Journalists Day on Thursday, July 2 2020.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the celebrations were, for the first time in AIPS history, held through electronic conferencing via zoom courtesy. The discussions involved panelists drawn from Africa and the rest of the world.

AIPS president Gianni Merlo was the first to deliver a speech marking
the opening of the celebrations whose theme was: ‘Has Covid-19 affected
journalists’ independence and future?’

In his speech, Merlo challenged Sports journalists from across the world to rise up and adapt to the challenges posed by Covid-19.

“We must continue to maintain quality and to be able to do this, we
must access sources which Covid-19 has made difficult to access. Time
has come for us to open a new chapter. We must work together to build
a new future. We must adapt,” Merlo said.

AIPS Vice-president Kenyan Evelyn Watta and Kwabena Yeboah from Ghana were also among the key speakers at the event.

Watta said Sports journalists must be proactive in exposing evils that affects sports such as racism.

“It is concerning that most of the athletes are opening up on racial
discrimination for the first time yet they have been in sports for so
many years; an environment that is considered safe and welcoming,”
Watta said in her address to the delegates as gathered by Kick442.com.

The contentious issue of racial discrimination that has taken
centre-stage following the murder of an African American George Floyd
by a white police officer in the United States on May 25 2020, and the
challenges Covid-19 has posed on sports journalism dominated the
conference.

There is a wave of protests especially in America under ‘Black Lives Matter’ banner in view of the murder of Floyd and other African Americans before him.

The protests are happening amid surging deaths caused by Covid-19, which has led to a halt in sports activities in most countries across the world.


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