The novel coronavirus has forced millions of people to work from home, either for the first time or more permanently, but it hasn’t changed the very nature of some jobs.
Take photojournalists, for example, who by the very definition of their profession have to work with the public on a regular basis.
In fact, their contact with the wider world is so frequent that the National Press Photographers Association formally petitioned the US Centers for Disease Control to include photojournalists in the first phase of COVID-19 vaccinations.
The statement, released by General Counsel Mickey H. Osterreicher for the NPPA, details how photojournalists work closely with the public and service workers thus making them essential in providing coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The request reads in part:
“On behalf of the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), the country’s leading organization of visual journalists, we ask that journalists who have direct contact with the public on a regular basis, and particularly visual journalists, be expressly included in the phase of the COVID-19 vaccine that includes the essential and critical infrastructure workforce.
Visual journalists cannot work from home, and have put their health and lives at risk on a daily basis to cover both the COVID-19 pandemic and other matters of public concern, including matters critical to the health and safety of the public and critical to our democracy. These journalists must work in the conditions they find—regardless of the risk. While others have the option to walk away from large crowds, or to avoid members of the public that don’t follow CDC health guidelines, visual journalist repeatedly put their own safety at risk to document what is occurring and inform their communities, large and small. As a result, we have seen visual journalists become infected, hospitalized, and even, unfortunately, succumb to COVID-19.”
You can read the full request at this link.
What do you think of the NPPA’s reasoning behind their request? Should photojournalists be included in the first phase of a COVID-19 vaccination? Let us know your thoughts on this story in the comments section.
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