COVID-19 exposure risk soaring among journalists : Alliance

COVID-19 exposure risk soaring among journalists : Alliance

Chairman of the Alliance of Independent Journalists, Abdul Manan, during a virtual discussion event held by ANTARA, themed "Safe and Healthy at Work: Journalists on the Front Line of the Media Industry" in Jakarta, Tuesday (11/8/2020). ANTARA/Muhammad Zulfikar/AC.

Three of that total figure were in Indonesia
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The likelihood of exposure to coronavirus among reporters has increased following the government's relaxation of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in several areas, especially the capital city, according to the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI).

"The health risks posed to journalists have become increasingly prominent," Abdul Manan, the Alliance’s chairman, noted during a virtual discussion themed "Safe and Healthy at Work: Journalists on the Front Line of the Media Industry" held by ANTARA in Jakarta on Tuesday.

According to AJI's compiled data, some 257 journalists worldwide had died of COVID-19 infections.

"Three of that total figure were in Indonesia," he stated.

Manan believed that such a condition and situation were inevitable. He noted that as compared to the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak in Indonesia, the risks of exposure to the virus among journalists had increased.

When authorities began applying PSBB, almost all reporters were working from home, thereby reducing the risks of virus exposure among them. However, after the government relaxed the PSBB, reporters began returning to the field, which translated to the risks also surmounting. He cited that COVID-19 deaths among Indonesian journalists were reported after the relaxation.

The inevitable threat of contracting COVID-19 looms large over journalists, who are tasked with gathering information on the field even in risky situations, thereby leaving them with no choice but to strictly abide by health protocols during that time.

Manan believed that the three components -- the government, media outlet that journalists work for, and reporters -- played crucial roles in ensuring the health and safety of the journalistic community on the field.
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