KUCHING, March 17 — The Kuching Division Journalists Association (KDJA) today urged the state’s media practitioners to take extra precautionary measures against contracting Covid-19 while they are covering events on the ground.
“As journalists, our profession requires us to be in the frontline to get the news out to the public, and to verify news coming from all sources and in doing so, we place ourselves in the line of danger,” its president Jacqueline Radoi Impi said.
With concerns over the rapid increase in Covid-19 cases in Sarawak, she said KDJA acknowledges that these are very challenging times for media not only in Sarawak but also all over the world.
“Covid-19 is the biggest story being covered today and for the last few days, weeks and months.
“Therefore, in light of the emerging cases, KDJA urges all members of the media on the ground, including cameramen, photographers, journalists and editors, to take extra precautions.
“Several of our media members have been in close contact with confirmed Covid-19 cases, and have gone to do testing at the Sarawak General Hospital with the all clear.
“However, the risks are still present and prevalent as we continue doing our jobs in the front line,” Radoi said.
She called upon all state and federal ministers, political parties, associations and event organisers to minimise or refrain from holding face-to-face press conferences with the media during the period between March 18 and 31, 2020.
“We instead encourage information and messages to the public to be issued via press statements or through Facebook videos/live streaming.
“We hope that by doing so, we can minimise any unnecessary risks for both the media as well as the parties involved.
“We seek cooperation from everyone during these trying times and hope for the best,” Radoi said.