Monday, 10 May, 2021
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517 journalists suffer job insecurity since COVID-19 pandemic



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Kathmandu, May 3: The Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) has urged media houses to ensure the job security of media professionals amidst the Covid-19 crisis.    

As many as 517 journalists have so far become suffered job insecurity due to the Covid-19 pandemic. FNJ’s media monitoring unit revealed that the highest number of journalists/media workers faced cases of job insecurity in the past year.    

The FNJ, an umbrella organisation of journalists, has urged media houses not to expel journalists and cut off their facilities and to pay special attention to their health in the present context, according to FNJ Chair Bipul Pokhrel.    

In a message of best wishes on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day-2021 today, the FNJ chair said journalists are facing a double whammy amidst the raging Covid-19 crisis: professionally they are bound to reach their audiences with accurate and reliable information and at the same, they face the greater risk of being relieved of their jobs.    

The FNJ records showed that 45 anti-press freedom incidents were reported in a year and 584 journalists including 77 women and three media houses became the victims of such cases.    

Likewise, six journalists were arrested in the reporting period and four journalists faced obstructions in course of carrying out their duties and seizure of their belongings. Similarly, 48 journalists were subjected to physical assaults, 12 faced threats and misbehave and 517 were displaced from the profession.    

May 3 every year is observed as the World Press Freedom Day at the call of the UNESCO in commemoration of the 1991 Namibia Declaration which had expressed strong commitments to Press freedom.    

On the occasion of the Day, FNJ chair Pokhrel has expressed reverence to those fighting for the free press in Nepal and outside and extended best wishes to all who are in the support of the freedom of expression.    

As he describes the freedom of the Press is not only the concern of journalists, instead, its practice is essential to ensure the people’s right to information enshrined by the constitution. “Its importance does not limit here, it is a vital component of the democratic society, he said.

Though the constitution has guaranteed full press freedom in the preamble, its full implementation is awaited. He underlined the need for unity between the FNJ and supporters and promoters of the freedom of the press to take the movement of free expression to a new height.