Network / COVID-19 / Endorsement: Ecuadorian journalists in the health emergency
Image from the #SOSperiodistas (#SOSjournalists) campaign
"PRESS WORKERS NEED HELP," says this image in Spanish presenting the campaign to support media workers during the pandemic. Image from the Fundamedios website.

The city of Guayaquil was the epicenter of the pandemic in Ecuador with scenes of caskets and bodies laid out and abandoned by their families on the streets moved by despair and lack of government infra-structure to handle the disease. It was the first country in Latin America to showcase how emerging countries would look like when hit by COVID-19.

Meedan supports the Ecuadorian journalism community statement demanding better working conditions for journalists covering COVID-19 in Ecuador from media news outlets and the Inter-institutional Committee for the Protection of Journalists and Communication Workers.

Isabel Gonzales from Chicas Poderosas introduces in her article “The risks of covering the pandemic in Ecuador” the devastating impact COVID-19 is having in the journalism community in the country, resulting in 9 deaths, 16 infections and 18 workers in cuarentine according to Fundamedios (data gathered in April).

20 organizations such as Fundamedios, Nos Faltan Tres (We Are Missing Three), Periodistas sin Cadenas (Journalists without Chains), SOS Familias Guayaquil, and Chicas Poderosas are united in this initiative and have also started a solidarity campaign to raise funds to help with the minimal expenses for food and medicine for those who are in the worst conditions at the moment. At the time this post is published 500 media workers (journalists, administration and print personel) have been laid off because of the downsizing of the public media company of Ecuador.

Without official data and knowing the labor risks that are implied in journalism work, Isabel Gonzalez and the team from Chicas Poderosas Ecuador conducted a community a survey that sought to know the conditions of journalists covering Covid-19 in Ecuador.

Meedan thanks this initiative on its fundamental role in demanding better working conditions, life and the improvement of journalists affected by the pandemic. We invite others working on the information ecosystem to join us in supporting this initiative.

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