UP, Telangana, Maharashtra see most journalist deaths due to Covid-19
According to a study conducted by the Delhi-based Institute of Perception Studies, as many as 101 journalists have succumbed to Covid-19 between 1 April 2020 and 28 April 2021
India’s Second Covid Wave is proving to be highly dangerous, so much so that the country is witnessing 4 lakh cases with mounting death cases close to four thousand deaths a day.
In this scenario, the journalists, who are reporting at the forefront of this crisis, are among the most vulnerable. If we look at the numbers, over 100 journalists have already lost their lives in the last month, with half of the deaths taking place in April 2021.
According to a study conducted by the Delhi-based Institute of Perception Studies, as many as 101 journalists have succumbed to COVID-19 between 1 April 2020 and 28 April 2021. The study, which was conducted by Rate The Debate, an initiative of the Institute of Perception Studies, New Delhi, on average, around two journalists have died every day this month.
In a recent report by Firstpost, Dr Kota Neelima, the founder of Rate The Debate, stated that the data was collected with the intention of holding journalists’ lives accountable and to show citizens the “cost at which news was being assimilated."
Speaking about the process followed to put together the data, Dr Neelima said, “We follow the 3-step verification: Data collection, cross-checking, and making personal calls. We are 100 per cent sure that the names mentioned in our list are that of journalists who have died due to COVID-19 only. Incidentally, most of the deaths recorded on our list are journalists from print and digital media, who are not considered traditional reporters as we don’t see them on TV,” she was quoted as saying.
As per the research, Uttar Pradesh has seen the maximum number of these deaths, followed by Telangana and Maharashtra.
Apart from the names mentioned in the list, Aaj Tak’s well-known journalist and anchor Rohit Sardhana lost his life due to covid-related complications on 30th April 2021. Even Doordarshan’s popular actor Kanupriya died of Covid recently on the same day.
It must be mentioned that The Editors Guild of India earlier this month had urged the Union government to declare journalists as frontline workers and ensure priority vaccination.
“Few weeks ago, EGI had demanded that journalists be declared as frontline workers and be vaccinated on priority to protect them from the new variant. Despite the support from various state governments and media organisations, the central government has not responded to this request. Now, even though vaccination has been technically opened for all above 18 years of age, there is the acute shortage of vaccines. Therefore the Guild’s urgent demand is that journalists be given priority along with other frontline workers. The Guild also urges all media organisations to take all the necessary steps to ensure the safety of their journalists,”the statement by EGI said.
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