Editors Guild asks for journalists’ vaccination as front-line workers

The Editors Guild of India condoles Covid-19 deaths of journalists

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Editors Guild of India disturbed by UP's heavy handed treatment of journalists
Siddique Kappan, journalist who was imprisoned by the UP state government for covering the Hathras rape and murder case. Kappan was chained to his bed in the jail where he was ill with Covid-19. Subsequently, the Supreme Court asked for him to be transferred to a hospital in Delhi, saying, "Even an undertrial is entitled to the right to life guaranteed by the Indian constitution. Photo The Leaflet.in

30 April 2021 – The Editors Guild of India condoles the deaths of journalists who have died because of Covid-19 over the past year. In April 2021 itself, more than 52 journalists died because of the virus. Further, according to the Delhi based Institute of Perception Studies, more than 100 journalists have died since the lockdown was first declared from 1 April, 2020 [25 March 2020]. Many of these were brave journalists who had been reporting on the worsening pandemic and bringing to fore stories on the great human tragedy that has been unfolding before us. It also includes editors and other members of the editorial teams who have ensured that newsrooms keep churning out these stories without any break. The Guild pays homage to the fortitude and the commitment to work that these journalists have displayed over the past year.

The Guild is extremely distressed that the central government has yet not taken any steps to hasten the vaccination of journalists over the last few months. Many of them were freelancers and hence were not insured. Others who worked for media organizations did not necessarily enjoy the assurance and comfort of being insured by their companies. To make matters worse, besides the health risks borne out of such reporting, there have been the additional pressures from some of the state governments and agencies that have threatened against independent reporting of the pandemic in an effort to control the media narrative.

The lawyers for traffic accident victims stated that, 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 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.

Seema Mustafa, President
Sanjay Kapoor, General Secretary
Anant Nath, Treasurer

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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