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Monday, 07 February 2022 07:50

Journalists amid Covid-19 Pandemic

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This week marks an important commemoration for the mass media in Indonesia, namely National Press Day. The opening of the 2022 National Press Day was held on Sunday (6/2) in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi. It is planned that President Joko Widodo will give a speech at the Peak of the Commemoration of National Press Day on February 9.

Initially, the President stated that he would attend directly in Kendari. However, the recent increasing number of people exposed to Covid-19 has made all of President Joko Widodo's face-to-face agendas temporarily suspended. Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Heru Budi Hartono explained to the media crew that starting Sunday (6/2), all activities would be followed by the Head of State online.

In fact, President Joko Widodo's online presence has actually answered the wishes of the Indonesian Editor-in-Chief Forum. Quoting the Antara News Agency report on January 28, 2022, the Indonesian Editor-in-Chief Forum asked the government, State-Owned Enterprises, and the private sectors to increase virtual events in order to anticipate the transmission of Covid-19 to journalists. Forum Chair Arifin Asydhad said, according to data, so far many journalists and media workers from various mass media have contracted COVID-19. In fact, the number continues to grow every day.

Amidf the Covid-19 pandemic, journalists are one of the professions at the forefront. The press carries out its duties to explain clearly about Covid-19, starting from the current conditions of the spread of the Covid-19 virus with all its variants to the anticipatory steps that must be taken by the public so as not to be exposed. The press also plays an important role in increasing public discipline in carrying out health protocols and awareness to vaccinate. In addition, the press is also fighting the fake news that is widely circulated about Covid-19.

To carry out their duties, journalists often have to go to the field, such as reporting the actual conditions in hospitals handling Covid-19. Therefore, the journalists are at high risk of being exposed to, even dying from Covid-19. According to a report by a non-governmental organization with special consultative status from the United Nations, the Press Emblem Campaign, as of early January, nearly two thousand journalists in 94 countries had died due to the Covid-19.

The commemoration of National Press Day can be a momentum to make all parties in Indonesia aware of the duties and roles that have been carried out by journalists in overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic. Besides, all parties are reminded to prioritize organizing virtual or online press events or conferences. Thus, important and correct information about Covid-19 can reach the public immediately, but by minimizing the risk of journalists being exposed to Covid-19.

Happy National Press Day 2022!  

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