Source: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
It has been over ten months that the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on countries around the world. More than 33 million people have been affected, and unfortunately over a million people have died as a result. The pandemic is undoubtedly the biggest challenge facing the international community, the CAJ said in its statement issued recently.
“This challenge for countries in Southeast Asia is no less daunting, if not more. In an online informal meeting of members of the Confederation of ASEAN Journalists (CAJ) recently, we heard how governments and societies in their countries work together to battle the pandemic,” it said.
In order to express their concerns over the continuing pandemic and its economic and social impact and to demonstrate their solidarity with the governments and peoples in the ASEAN region in coping with the crisis, CAJ members issued a statement to recognise the ongoing efforts by governments and peoples of all the CAJ member countries to overcome the pandemic and its economic and social impact in their respective territories.
The CAJ appreciates all the hard work provided by healthcare workers whole have been at the frontline in battling the pandemic, and spirit of volunteerism by individual members of the public in this critical time has given us some shining moments in these dark hours.
As governments and societies join hand to combat the pandemic, the role of the media has become more crucial as ever, both in providing accurate information and keeping the public informed.
Most important of all, media practitioners are reminded that they must not let their guard down as far as professional ethnics is concerned in their coverage of the pandemic. Trust in the media is most crucial in time of crisis.
The CAJ strongly promotes transboundary cooperation among its member countries so that timely and valuable information on the pandemic can be shared. Equally important, CAJ member countries can learn from each other’s experience in fighting against the deadly disease.
Amidst the pandemic, the media, therefore, have responsibility to combat fake news and disinformation about the pandemic which has become a scourge that needs to be countered through joint efforts and cooperation among all the professional media in the region.