Information and the right to be informed in this crucial moment are pivotal. At the same time media employers’ duty of care obliges them to comply with a number of precautions that protect workers - staff and freelance - and that all unions should be calling for on behalf of their members.
This page aims to highlight initiatives around the globe taken by unions, media organisations and press freedom groups to make sure that information is provided with care and professionalism in full safety for media staff. It also links to key authoritative resources that all journalists should be consulting before reporting on the Coronavirus.
Keep safe and report ethically!
United Kingdom: Advices for freelances, National Union of Journalists (NUJ) - Language: English
United Kingdom: The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) called on the government “to step up” for freelancers to ensure they are not a “forgotten” group during the coronavirus pandemic - Language: English
Ireland: The NUJ in Ireland published a call for a recovery plan for local and national media: From Health Crisis to Good News
Sweden: The Swedish journalists' union (SJF) started a special "Corona" page on its website, which provides useful information, tips, advices, and news related to COVID-19. SJF is pushing the government to protect media workers. The union achieved so far (Language: Swedish):
- Better unemployment insurance incl freelancers
- Financial relief for self-employed persons
- Journalists should be counted as "socially important" and thus be entitled to child care if the schools close
Bosnia and Herzegovina: BiH issued guidelines for journalists - Language: English
France: Letter by the National Union to all journalists on coronavirus crisis - Language: French
- The SNJ launched a petition to authoirities to include freelance journalists in the government aid packages.
Austria: GPA-djp has negotiated a “Corona short-time work” package for 3 months, in which all employees receive 80-90% compensation. The union informed their members about home office working conditions.
Belgium: Association des Journalistes Professionnels (AJP) is listing all the measures taken in French-speaking newsrooms to fight the spread of COVID-19 (work in progress). A good way to learn from each other, improve ourselves and get inspired - in French.
Belgium (Wallonie): the AJP is working on the creation of a solidarity fund for freelance journalists, who have been hard hit by the crisis: many of them have lost all or part of their collaborations -Language: French
Belgium (Flanders): Unions ensured that freelance journalists receive a monthly allowance from the first day they stop their activity because of the coronavirus crisis.
Finland: The Union of Journalists in Finland has welcomed the government's aid plan for the media in light of the pandemic as well as measures to provide long-term assistance.
Swiss: Aide minimale pour les travailleurs indépendants
Croatia: The Trade Union of Croatian Journalists (TUCJ) and the Croatian Journalists Association (CJA) urged the government “to save journalism” by taking financial compensation measures for the media sector
Italy: The FNSI urged the government to support journalism during the exceptional emergency plan and in particular local news facing unprecedented problems - Language: Italian
Ukraine: The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) is demanding government action to support the media sector and declare journalists key workers
- Sindicato des Journalistas (SJ) has an special section on his website on the coronavirus crisis - Language: Portuguese
- Quality journalism supports diversity and equality
Switzerland: Impressum union publishes a report to support journalists. Language - French
The Netherlands: Freelance journalists and photojournalists who have to deal with cancellations of assignments can report them via the NVJ hotline. The NVJ asked the central government and municipalities to come up with special measures, which they did - Language: Dutch
- The Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia (CMEM) joined forces with the Association of Journalists of North Macedonia (AJM) and released specific ‘Guidelines on ethical, accountable and professional reporting on the coronavirus’ in Macedonian, Albanian and English.
- SSNM Union secures aid package for media workers
Greece: The Journalists' Union of Athens Daily Newspapers (JUADN) offered to its members financial aid and super market vouchers - Language: Greek. Greek newspaper workers union JUADN announced it will pay health insurance for long-term unemployed members from April until June. Language: Greek
Germany: The United Services Union (Ver.di) backed calls for measures to cushion the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on freelance journalists and media workers.
Estonia: The Estonian Association of Journalists has accused the government of using the media's economic crisis due to coronavirus to suppress its independence.
- The Norsk Journalistlag (NJ) has created an online page responding to all the questions posted by its members on how the crisis is affecting their jobs. Language: Norwegian
- The NJ has campaigned for an extensive aid package for media
- Coronavirus advices for MEAA Media members - Language: English
- The MEAA called for timely action to ensure a sustainable future for public interest journalism in Australia
Indonesia: The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) has taken action to ensure journalists’ safety who are covering the Covid19 crisis. The union published a Safety Protocol and helped to provide all its members with safety material such as masks and hand sanitizers, among other actions - Language: Indonesian
Pakistan: Union secures Punjab Covid-19 relief package
Sri Lanka: The Free Media Movement of Sri Lanka sent a letter to all the media outlets calling on their responsibility to guarantee journalists’ safety - Language: English
Sri Lanka: FMM demands a shared social consciousness to tackle pandemic
Philippines: The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines urged the government not to use the emergency as an excuse to curtail media freedom.
Nepal: The Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) provides key support to journalists and media during the pandemic
United States: Newsguild demands public stimulus funds for media. Language: English
Brazil: Encuesta de FENAJ revela mayores presiones a periodistas durante la pandemia de la Covid-19 - Portuguese
- Unions seek coronavirus income support for entertainment industry workers, CWA - Language: English
- Canada (FNC): Campagne de soutien aux journalistes et à la culture. Language: French
República Dominicanta: SNTP aboga por mejores condiciones para periodistas; pide a medios proteger a profesionales para evitar contagios de Covid-19
Colombia: FIP y FECOLPER rechazan la violación de derechos laborales
- APES entrega 200 kits de seguridad a periodistas
- APES organiza una campaña contra la desinformación y seminario sobre seguridad digital
Uruguay: APU guidelines facing Codv-19 - Language: Spanish
- Prevention campaign launched by the Uruguayan Press Association and with the support of the Uruguayan Medical Union, the Federation of Public Health Officials and the Uruguayan Health Federation
- APU Safety Guide for journalists - Language: Spanish
- Manifiesto público de FENAPE en defensa de la libertad de prensa, los derechos laborales y la seguridad de los y las periodistas. Language: Spanish
- FENAPE denuncia ante el gobierno abusos a periodistas
- FENAPE trabaja para defender a los periodistas ecuatorianos durante la pandemia del COVID-19
- Representantes y miembros del Sindicato de Periodistas de Paraguay (SPP) se manifestaron contra el despido de más de 100 trabajadores/as en varios medios de comunicación del país y exigió la intervención del ministerio de trabajo. Language - Spanish
- SPP solicita apertura de diálogo social con patronales de medios
Panamá: The Sindicato de Periodistas de Panamá (SPP) urges the government to protect journalists' jobs as essential service to ensure the free right to be informed - Language: Spanish
Argentina: SiPreBA denuncia despidos ilegales por Covid-19
Paraguay: SPP, Sindicato de Periodistas del Paraguay reaction to coronavirus - Language: Spanish
- ANP llama a no legitimar el maltrato laboral ya que éste es tan lesivo como la pandemia - Language: Spanish
- ANP contra los despidos y cierre de diarios del grupo El Comercio
FEPALC: Federación de Periodistas de América Latina y el Caribe, FEPALC, safety guidelines - Language: Spanish
Ivory Coast: The Intersyndicale du secteur des médias called on authorities to respect the free flow of information - Language - French
Sénégal: Liberté de circulation pour les journalistes
Somalia: NUSOJ publishes a new COVID-19 guidance published for journalists and media houses in Somalia
Kenya: Union solidarity action in support of journalists in need
Uganda: Union fights Covid-19 pay cuts
Zimbabwe: The Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) urged the authorities to create a safe working environment for journalists covering the pandemic.
Africa: FAJ calls for heightened protection for frontline journalists
Other entitites initiatives:
UNESCO:Resource Center of Responses to COVID-19. Actions to Support Media, Enhance Access to Information, and Leverage Digital Technologies in the Fight Against the Pandemic.
International Labour Organization (ILO) resources:
- Key provisions of international labour standards relevant to the evolving COVID19 outbreak
- New guidelines to help employers support families during COVID-19
- The world of work and COVID-19: How countries are responding
UNI Global Union:
- Fighting the COVID-19 crisis in the media & entertainment sector
- Covid-19 intensifies the need for the right to disconnect
Norway: The Fritt Ord Foundation will support journalists and other with 3.2 million euros – to projects that “can secure spaces of expression, develop new channels of expression and help a vibrant and vital public”.
Hacked-Off: Campaign for a free
New York Times provided free access to the main news and for useful guidance on the coronavirus outbreak
Latin American newsrooms adapt operations as new coronavirus spreads across the continent, Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas
Resources and best practices from Public Media Alliance.
Reporting and Covid-19: A Webinar Series for Journalists. Dart Center
News Media Association, reaction to coronavirus
Community radio broadcasting coronavirus prevention education in Bangladesh: https://bnnrc.net/covid-19-community-radio-broadcasting-coronavirus-prevention-education-in-bangladesh/
Argentinian newspaper "Clarín" decided to allow unlimited access to its digital content on the pandemic
Access Now Response
Access Now recommendations on privacy and data protection in the fight against COVID-19
Global investigative journalism network, COVID-19 resources:
International Center for Journalists COVID-19 resources