With COVID-19 causing devastating losses in Kashmir, the media has an extraordinary responsibility to keep the public informed, Kashmir Press Club (KPC) said on Saturday.
In the process, KPC as per a statement issued to the news agency Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said journalists are playing a crucial role by risking their lives as chances of getting infected with the coronavirus are very high during travel or while gathering news.
“A lot of journalists have already lost their lives to this deadly virus. Also, the psychological impact of reporting the pandemic is quite higher. At the Kashmir Press Club we would urge our members and the fraternity in general to take utmost care while doing their jobs at the frontline. Please follow the SOPs laid down for safety in this pandemic very strictly. We would also urge the media establishments to pay more attention towards the well being of the working journalists in this crisis. Wherever possible, work-from-home models should be encouraged,” the statement said.
Amid the pandemic, KPC expressed concern at some unknown social media users entering hospitals with mics masquerading as journalists.
“The recent incident of a social media user barging into a Covid hospital with least regard towards SOPs is one such example, highlighting the menace. Since social media is a powerful platform to reach people, and anyone is free to use it for journalistic work as well however a trained journalist would never obstruct the functioning of medical staff. Unfortunately many such elements have cropped up who indulge in such activities with utter disregard towards professionalism,” the statement added.
“Such elements by these actions bring a bad name to the profession and also make the job of a genuine journalist difficult. These activities should be desisted from. Before practicing journalism we would urge youngsters to seek proper training on journalistic guidelines and media ethics.”
“For fraternity members who are at the frontline today we are also posting a link to the health advisory issued by CPJ to minimize risk of contracting the infection. Please take utmost care of yourselves while delivering your duties,” KPC said. (KNO)