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World Association of Press Councils concerns over impact on media from Covid-19

KATHMANDU: The World Association of Press Councils (WAPC) has expressed serious concerns over the impact on the media from the COVID-19 global pandemic.

A press release issued by WAPC secretary-general Kishor Shrestha states that a virtual discussion of WAPC on Sunday concluded that the media has been affected both at the personal as well as institutional level due to the global pandemic. WAPC stated that not only the media but all sectors of the world have been in crisis due to the COVID-19. It has called on the media houses in the countries of South Asia, including Nepal, to provide job protection to journalists facing crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Loss of revenue has a big impact at the personal level of journalists affiliated to all types of media. Several among these journalists have lost their jobs while many have found their salary reduced. Many media houses have adopted other drastic steps as forced leave and reduction of working hours due to the coronavirus pandemic,” stated the press release. Discussions were also held in the virtual conference on topics as the mass protests against racial discrimination and the state’s antagonism towards the media in the United States and the fatal attacks on journalists in various countries including Iraq.

Initiating the discussion, Prof (Dr.) Sule Aker, President of the WAPC, advised the fellow media persons to remain careful and disseminate authentic news about the dreaded disease. She also urged all Government and Media Houses to keep the interest of the media persons uppermost in their mind. Mr Kishor Shrestha, Secretary General of the WAPC and Chairman of the Press Council Nepal, said many journalists were not paid, several others have been asked not to come to work and the media industry was facing a loss of more than 70 per cent as the fallout of COVID-19. He urged the media houses to look after the wellbeing of the media house family in such challenging situation.

The World Association of Press Councils is an umbrella organization of Press Councils and similar bodies of different countries of the globe.

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