World Press Freedom Day: Journos rue Govt’s negligence of not considering them as frontline warriors

Journalists are always at forefront, should be considered as COVID warriors: KPC President Shuja-Ul-Haq

Srinagar, May 03 : Amid the ongoing global pandemic, the journalists across the globe on Monday observed World Press Freedom Day even as they rued the government’s negligence of not considering them as frontline warriors despite being at the forefront.

Like medicos and others, the media men have been discharging their duties at the forefront by risking their lives to keep the people updated about the evolving situation due to the ongoing pandemic.

From lockdown to vaccination, the media men have been reporting every single event to help the people remain updated about the prevalent situation.

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 and so far, at least 1228 journalists died of Covid-19 in 75 countries, with most among them belonging to Brazil (187 deaths), Peru (140) and India (131 deaths).

The media men, however, lamented the government’s behaviour of ignoring them, saying that despite discharging duties at the forefront, they were not categorized in the list of people who get vaccination on priority.

Senior Journalist and president Kashmir Press Club (KPC) 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 witness to the misery that has been unfolding. Journalists have been on the frontline yet not considered like frontline warriors. For example in the drive for vaccination, the government should have considered reporters among the priority groups. Unfortunately, they did not,” he said.

Senior Photojournalist Farooq Javid told KNO that as far as covering the happenings of COVID-19 is concerned, the task for on ground Photojournalists have been very tough. “Such is the risk that despite following all the COVID SOPs, the journalists caught the virus,” he said.

“Photojournalists have also been on the frontline but unfortunately were never considered as frontline warriors,” he said.

Notably, India is witnessing an unprecedented crisis as the second wave of COVID-19 has resulted in the highest caseload of more than four lakh positive cases on a daily basis—(KNO)