Nothing of any use will be achieved by clamping down on or hushing up journalists
Times have not been good for journalists. The Covid-19 pandemic has created an uptick in the demand for minute-by-minute news updates, and journalists have been putting themselves at risk to bring those updates.
There is no doubt that we are in an unprecedented situation, and people are eager for reliable, trustworthy news sources amidst the deluge of rumours and misinformation that circulate online.
In this time of crisis, more than ever, we need to treat our journalists well. That means treating them with the respect they deserve, honour their work, and most of all, safeguard their rights. But in this task, sadly, we are failing.
The Digital Security Act has been putting all kinds of pressure on journalists. Media personnel are being harassed all over, and many have had cases filed against them. Needless to say, the DSA, which was initially intended for the protection of citizens, is being abused to clamp down on the press.
Not only does this not bode well for the health of our democracy, but it is also a grim sign that we are failing in the way we handle the pandemic. Nothing of any use will be achieved by clamping down on or hushing up journalists. Yes, it is important to protect privacy, and yes, it is important to protect individuals from the damage that can be caused by the spread of misinformation.
Mainstream media is a friend and an ally in this fight, not an enemy. After all, it is professional journalists who are dedicated to checking facts and presenting the correct information to the public, cutting through the haze of confusion. By cracking down on journalists for simply doing their jobs, we harm our own chances of getting through this crisis.