A group of journalists and media practitioners, the Association of Online Media Practitioners of Nigeria (AMPON), has called on the Federal Government of Nigerian to extend the palliatives support to the journalists.
The chairman of the association, Wole Arisekola, stressed that journalists are some of the essential and frontline workers during the pandemic across the world.
Arisekola noted that journalists – who include members of AMPON – are some of those that are working tirelessly to gather information for public consumption.
The publisher of StreeJournal magazine said that the online journalists are frontline workers and as such must be included in the palliative package being rolled out by the Federal Government as well as other bodies.
Continuing, Arisekola added that the media are also playing a critical and crucial role in the war against the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our members and all journalists have been active and up and doing during this crisis which has affected every sphere of life. They have taken the bull by the horn to give accurate information and curb the spread of fake news because without them no one will even know what is going on, including what those in the medical field are doing.
“Therefore, they should be included in the palliative package being planned and again be adequately protected. They too are in the frontline, always there to write COVID-19 stories, cover COVID-19 outbreaks, supply all the necessary statistics, get the survivors to speak to them, and so on. Their roles, therefore, are also key and must be factored into whatever palliative package the FG or any other body is planning,” Arisekola said.
The AMPON chairman also noted that journalists, like health workers, have been infected by the deadly disease in Nigeria and across the world.
The novel Coronavirus pandemic has left many individuals, businesses, and even countries incapacitated and the role the media; journalists and broadcaster played in day-to-day activities cannot be an oversight.
Since the emergence of COVID-19 and lockdown, the minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Sadiya Umar Farouq, said 2.6m vulnerable persons have benefitted from the Federal government cash transfer intervention programme.
Also, over 11m households have been identified in 35 states to benefit from the palliative measure.
As at April, Farouq said the FCT has 5,982 households, in Nasarawa, 8,271; Katsina, 6,732; and Anambra state has 1,367 households respectively.