The role of media is more crucial during public health crisis than in normal times.
At a virtual discussion on the ‘practice of safe journalism during crisis’ organised by the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), Pratishthan Pradesh Committee today, senior journalist and professor Ram Krishna Regmee was of the view of practicing journalism ahead being based on experiences of the past crisis.
“It is highly challenging for the media coverage of the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic as it has almost disrupted the society and it is a matter of concern that we could not take a lesson from the first wave and being prepared to handle the current crisis effectively,’’ he said.
It is a matter of concern that guideline for safe journalism is still awaited when the country is battling with the second wave of the pandemic, according to him. We are unprepared for safe journalism during the public health crisis though it has been over a year since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Media workers/ journalists have shown courage and worked hard to bring frontline stories about the pandemic, but their personal health safety has not been assured, he said.
Dr Bishal Bhandari from the John Hopkins University, USA urged journalists not to compromise to take all possible safety measures while carrying out professional duties and responsibilities.
He advised them to try to stay mentally sound in addition to physically fit and not to work under undue stress as mental health is the concern of all during a public health crisis.
Dr Bhandari drew the attention of journalists towards becoming extra careful during hospital reporting at a time of the pandemic, urging them to wear masks, use hand santiser, avoid face-to-face interviews and disinfect media gadgets after use to minimize the infection risk. “Medical workers who are already overwhelmed by work pressure should not be questioned unnecessarily.”
Warning that the new variants of the virus seem more contagious, he urged journalists to focus on the practice of safe journalism.
Pratisthan chair Balkrishna Adhikari said they were advocating for job security and the health safety of journalists during the pandemic. He called on all working journalists to fulfill responsibilities remaining safe from the pandemic.
Source : RSS,