IFJ says journalists’ working conditions hit hard by coronavirus » Kashmir Media Service

KMS research section describes IFJ survey as realistic

Brussels, May 01 (KMS): Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has said that the working conditions of news reporters around the globe have deteriorated during the coronavirus pandemic amid job losses and attacks on media freedom.

A survey published by the IFJ on its website showed that three out of four journalists have faced restrictions, ob

struction or intimidation while covering the coronavirus crisis. The organization analyzed responses from 1,308 journalists in 77 countries in its survey.Two-thirds of staff and freelance journalists said they have experienced worsening working conditions, including pay cuts, lost revenue and job losses, the IFJ survey said. Nearly every freelance respondent reported losing revenue or work opportunities in the survey conducted in April.

“These results show a worrying trend of declining media freedom and cuts to journalism at the very time when access to information and quality journalism is so crucial. Journalism is a public good and it deserves public support and an end to political obstruction and interference,” said Anthony Bellanger, the IFJ General Secretary.

The IFJ said that working during the coronavirus crisis had also taken a toll on journalists’ mental health, with more than half suffering from stress and anxiety. It also maintained that more than a quarter of respondents said they lack the right equipment to work from home in safe conditions amid the lockdown measures widely implemented to slow the spread of the virus. One in four lacked proper protective gear when reporting in the field, it added.

When asked about the state of media freedom in their countries the vast majority said it had got worse,” the IFJ said, noting that dozens of journalists have been arrested or faced lawsuits since the outbreak started. Almost one in four journalists said they have struggled to access information from their government or official sources, and many complained about restrictions on free movement or on asking questions during press conferences.

Meanwhile, the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service, in a report released, today, described the IFJ survey as realistic. The report pointed out that occupied Kashmir is one of the most dangerous places of the world where people associated with the press and media are performing their professional duties in the most difficult circumstances and situation. Almost routinely, the journalists face manhandling, abductions, m

urder attempts and death threats by the Indian troops in the occupied territory and all this has made their everyday work extremely difficult. The Kashmiri journalists and many other scribes while performing their professional duties are roughed up, injured and detained by the troops on fake charges in the territory.

The difficulties of the journalists in occupied Kashmir have increased manifold since August 05, 2019 when Narendra Modi-led fascist government in New Delhi revoked the special status of Kashmir and placed it under military siege and communications gag. The intensification of the restrictions in the name of containing the spread of coronavirus has further added to their miseries. The Indian police even filed cases under serious charges, last month, against three journalists, Gowhar Geelani, Peerrzada Ashiq and Masarrat Zahra for their news stories and posts on social media.

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