The All India Journalists Association (AIJ) has made a representation to the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot, requesting that reporters and press and media personnel be accorded recognition as frontline workers during the pandemic.
It was April 2020, when the COVID Lockdown had begun across India and the state government had facilitated a COVID-19 Test campaign for news reporters and journalists, identifying them as frontline workers and in need of real time testing to ensure that they do not become carriers of the infection.
After a year and 3 phases of vaccination having been accomplished for defined frontline workers such as doctors, frontline health workers, municipality workers and officers, police personnel and district administration staff - and there was no mention of Reporters and Journalists who have been at the forefront, meeting patients, visiting mortuaries, attending press conferences and disseminating information to the public.
The national President of the All India Journalists association, Vikram Sen has made a representation to the state Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, requesting him to classify these reporters, who, from day one, have been in the midst of the pandemic and have been responsible for disseminating government and administrative information as well as health care information to the public and making them aware of the crisis. Along with the reporters come the desk workers, press workers, photographers, editors, and new paper hawkers, who have been classified as frontline workers.
This comes after the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chauhan classified reporters as frontline workers and accorded them all benefits that come with the classification. Odisha has also announced that journalists and reporters will be identified as frontline workers and family of such personnel who have died due to the pandemic, will be assured a sum of Rs 15 lac ex-gratia.
State President of the All India Journalists association, Dinesh Gothwal has expressed confidence that the Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot will accord front line workers recognition to members of the press and media. The national General Secretary of the All India Journalist Association, Pandit Manohar Mandloi has submitted a request letter to the Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Home Minister and Chief Secretary of the state to accord the due recognition at the earliest.