At least 235 journalists have lost their lives to coronavirus in the country, according to a compiled by the Network of Women in Media, India.
The Press Emblem Campaign, an NGO which consults for the United Nations, has been collating information on journalists affected by Covid across the world. According to PEC, India is daily to the virus.
On April 27, in a who have lost their lives due to Covid, the NWMI expressed both grief and anger. Their anger stems from the fact that while journalists are exempted from travel restrictions during lockdowns along with police, medical personnel and essential service workers, they aren’t considered frontline workers eligible for early vaccination. “It is high time the authorities paid attention to the complete lack of access to timely medical attention for journalists on duty and drew up a vaccination plan for them on par with healthcare workers and other recognised frontline workers,” the tribute.
The NWMI also noted that most journalists on the ground do not have protective gear and they have to work in constant fear of wage cuts and job losses.
Accordingly, the NWMI made of central and state governments as well as media houses. They are:
Pay due attention to the health and wellbeing of media workers.
Provide them with PPE kits while on the field and minimise the risks they have to take in the course of carrying out their work.
Protect their legal rights and stop penalising them for exposing the ground realities.
Prioritise vaccination for journalists as frontline workers.
Extend medical insurance, coverage of medical costs and compensation for death to media workers.
Facilitate work-from-home during the pandemic for those whose job descriptions don’t require them to be out in the field. Threatening journalists who are reluctant to work from the office with terminations or wage cuts must stop.