To help protect journalists during the pandemic, Indonesian Association for Media Development Nusantara (PPMN) supported by Free Press Unlimited, distributing package of protection kit each contained of reusable masks and hand sanitizers. Assistance was given to 1500 journalists in regions with high virus spread rates such as West Java, Central Java, East Java, Banten, South Sulawesi, Papua, North Sumatra, Yogyakarta, East Nusa Tenggara and Bali. In addition to personal protective equipment, each aid package is also equipped with a protocol to report on Covid safely and some health tips to protect yourself from viruses.
Distribution was targeting the community of journalists who have not received any assistance since the Covid-19 pandemic was detected in Indonesia. Some of them are local media journalists, citizen journalists, student press networks, photo journalists and television journalists.
Anza Suseno, a member of the Sukabumi Journalist Forum in West Java, said that the aid package was very useful because the supply of masks and hand sanitizers was running low in his area. Meanwhile, they must continue to cover amid uncertainty when the pandemic ends. “As long as the pandemic is not over, any assistance is very valuable,” he said.
Meanwhile Herman, from Leko Kupang Citizen Journalist community in East Nusa Tenggara said they had not received any assistance to protect themselves. Even though in their villages it is difficult to get masks and hand sanitizers. “In Kupang it still needs,” he said.
PPMN Executive Director, Eni Mulia said Covid-19 also threatened the safety and profession of journalists. Hence, journalistic work is needed to help the government and people make decisions and act appropriately in dealing with the plague. “In the midst of a pandemic situation, journalism is needed to fulfill quality information needs.” she said.