SRINAGAR: On a World Press Freedom Day, Journalist fraternity in the valley said that government should consider the people associated with the profession as frontline workers amid Covid-19 global pandemic.
Although several journalists have taken to social media to point out that despite being identified as an important category and reporting from the frontlines, journalists covering the pandemic were not given priority for vaccination.
Senior journalist and Kashmir Press Club (KPC) President Shuja-Ul- Haq, while speaking with the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said that the pandemic has been a very difficult period for journalists and while reporting many have lost their lives.
“It is also documented how this pandemic has taken a toll on the mental health of the scribes since they become witnesses to the misery that has been unfolding,” he said.
“Journalists have been on the frontline yet not considered like frontline workers. In the drive for vaccination government should considered reporters among the priority groups. Unfortunately they have not,” Shuja said.
Senior photo-journalist Farooq Javid told KNO that covering the Covid-19 on ground have been very tough for the journalists.
“Such is the risk that despite of following the Covid-19 sops, journalists got infected,” he said.
“Photo journalists have also been on the front line but unfortunately never considered as frontline workers,” he said.
According to the Geneva-based media rights body, India is among the top three countries in the world when it comes to deaths of journalists due to COVID-19. So far, at least 1228, journalists died of Covid-19 in 75 countries, with most affected countries Brazil with 187 deaths, Peru 140 and India with 131 deaths.
People associated with the media report from ground zero – Covid wards, crematorium, graveyards.
India is witnessing an unprecedented crisis as the second wave of COVID-19 has resulted the highest caseload of around four lakh per day—(KNO)