Over 300 journalists have died of Covid, second wave wreaks havoc on media

Last yr, a big quantity of front-line staff resembling medical doctors, well being staff and policemen misplaced their lives as a result of Covid-19 pandemic. Which is why, when India began its immunisation drive, they got precedence vaccination. Priority inoculation had a optimistic impression because the quantity of frontline staff who misplaced their lives within the second wave of the pandemic is considerably decrease than the primary. But journalists weren’t so fortunate.

Despite continuously being on the sector and on obligation all through the pandemic, journalists had been largely not thought of as frontline staff and weren’t given precedence within the vaccination drive. And now, a examine has discovered that greater than 300 media individuals, together with many well-known journalists, misplaced their lives as a result of virus.

On common, three journalists died day by day in April 2021. In May, this common climbed to 4 per day.

The second wave has not solely claimed the lives of a number of senior journalists however has additionally killed many others working in districts, cities and villages throughout totally different Indian states.

According to a report by the Delhi-based Institute of Perception Studies, a complete of 238 journalists have died attributable to Covid-19 an infection from April 2020 to May 16, 2021 (these are the instances that have been verified).


The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has been way more devastating for the media than the primary. According to the report by the Institute of Perception Studies, the primary wave of the pandemic, from April to December 2020, killed 56 journalists. In comparability, the second wave claimed the lives of 171 journalists between April 1, 2021, and May 16, 2021. The remaining 11 journalists died between January and April.


Apart from 238 deaths listed by the Institute of Perception Studies, the institute has 82 different names which are but to be verified. Speaking to AajTak.in, the institute’s director, Dr Kota Neelima, mentioned that to this point, over 300 journalists have died from Covid. “Out of which, we have been able to verify 238. An investigation is on regarding the rest.”

The Institute of Perception Studies has included all these journalists who died after getting contaminated whereas protecting information within the discipline or working in places of work. These vary from reporters of media establishments, stringers, freelancers, photojournalists and citizen journalists.

Another group, Network of Women in Media, India, has additionally mentioned that round 300 journalists have died attributable to Covid-19.


According to the Institute of Perception Studies’ information, Telangana registered 39 journalist deaths attributable to Covid-19, which is the best amongst states. In North India, the best tally was registered in Uttar Pradesh the place 37 journalists died of the an infection. This is adopted by 30 journalist deaths in Delhi, 24 in Maharashtra, 26 in Odisha, 19 in Madhya Pradesh. These don’t embody the 82 deaths which are but to be verified.

According to the report, journalists between 41 and 50 years of age amounted to 31 per cent of complete deaths. Around 15 per cent deaths had been reported among the many age group of 31-40 years, 19 per cent amongst 51-60 years age group, 24 per cent amongst 61-70 years age group and 9 per cent journalists who died of Covid had been above 71 years of age.


Dr Kota Neelima mentioned that out of the journalists who died attributable to Covid-19, 35 per cent, i.e. 85 journalists, had been from metro cities, whereas 64 per cent, i.e. 153 journalists, had been from non-metro cities, together with rural India.

About 55 p.c of the journalists who died of Covid-19 had been from print media, 25 p.c from TV and digital media and 19 per cent from freelance journalism.


Anand Rana, a member of the Press Council of India, mentioned {that a} demand had been raised to declare journalists as frontline staff throughout a press council assembly in September final yr. After this, the secretary of the council wrote a letter to all of the state governments. Again, in April this yr, the chairman of the Press Council of India wrote a letter reiterating the demand to state governments.

He additionally prompt that states implement the Haryana mannequin to offer safety to journalists. The Haryana authorities offers journalists well being cowl starting from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.

Anand Rana mentioned that about 16 state governments have declared journalists as frontline warriors, together with Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Manipur, Punjab, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Kerala.

The Odisha authorities has introduced monetary help of Rs 15 lakh for the household of journalists who die of Covid-19. The Rajasthan authorities has introduced monetary help of Rs 50 lakh. The UP authorities has additionally introduced Rs 5 lakh to the kin of the deceased journalists.

Story highlights:

Over 300 journalists have been killed attributable to Covid-19 since April, final yr

Most weak group of journalists are aged between 41-50 years of age

Majority media deaths have been registered in rural India

Scribes in Telangana and UP are worst-affected

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