According to journalist Astghik Karapetyan, journalists are in the target group during the epidemic. They interact a lot with different people, of course, they are also at risk.
There are many international guidelines for journalists, from hygiene to professional advice.
The main advice is the possible reduction of coverage of mass events, as well as the refusal of interviews with passers-by (from vox populis), the importance of which is not great from the point of view of public discourse.
Astghik says that, of course, no one can forbid the media to cover this or that event, but the media officials must ensure the safety of journalists.
For example, provide for the disinfection of microphones and other shooting equipment, provide protective clothing. Finally, there must be medical insurance.
“Also, let’s take into account that in the case of a struggle, a mask alone is not enough, there is a high probability that someone will take it off,” she said.
According to Astghik Karapetyan, there are many violations of journalists’ rights, and it is important that journalists pursue the protection of their labor rights (whether or not there is a contract with the employer, overtime pay, leave and other issues).
“When getting hired, you must read, discuss, and argue for each point of the contract to reconsider the disputed provisions. For example, ask what it means to complete other tasks as assigned as per the manager’s instructions. Ask what that means,” she said.
But she also adds that a work contract is often not even signed with a journalist.
Meanwhile, journalists dealing with documents must rule out working without a contract.