Journalists working despite the epidemic: Facts cannot be hidden in order not to cause panic

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  • 13:12 24 March 2020
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İZMİR – Journalists who have to work on the streets despite the coronavirus epidemic, are trying to protect themselves while trying to convey the facts.
Coronavirus (Kovid-19) epidemic is a major threat in Turkey as well as all over the world. While curfew is declared for people over 65  and those with chronic diseases, other people are called for not leaving the house unless it is compulsory. However, despite all this, journalists are among those who have to be on the streets despite the epidemic. Journalists are at the top of their duties to protect the public's right to receive news.
Journalists who remain out in the streets in İzmir explained how they worked under the conditions of the epidemic and what kind of journalism should be done.
Duvar Newspaper İzmir Reporter Nuray Pehlivan drew attention to the precautions a reporter has to take. Expressing that like so many 'keyworkers', journalists are among those who are most exposed to the virus, Pehlivan said: "We must protect ourselves, keep away from closed places and be very careful about the outbreak news. We have to give the correct information in order not to cause panic and anxiety. On the other hand, the information hidden in order not to cause panic is keeping the public in the dark which causes panic and anxiety. Our basic rule must be to convey the facts correctly, not hide information and confirm the information we recieve. The information hidden harms the public more."
Jinnews reporter Melike Aydın stated that many journalist now has to work from home. Aydın stating that they leave the house if necessary, said: "We have to consider the warnings. As journalists, we have to pay attention to the hygiene of the tools we use, such as computers, cameras and telephones. It is imperative that we maintain social distance with people we will interview with. But the best thing is, I think, to get opinions from the citizens on video or phone by using new technologies." 
Evrensel Newspaper İzmir reporter Dilek Omaklılar said: "We are going through a period where we encounter to many disinformation and uncertainties. We organized ourselves to work from home. If we have to go out, we take necessary precautions. To convey the correct information to the public is as important as ever. The government does not disclose the real numbers or the correct information". Omaklılar, stating that they aim to show the effect of the virus to the public health and reveal the economic conditions of labourers, said: "I mean we are not just reiterating the call to stay home but reveal the real economic conditions of the citizens who have to stay home."

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