International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)

International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)
Call for Papers | Fully Refereed | Open Access | Double Blind Peer Reviewed

ISSN: 2319-7064

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Analysis Study Research Paper | Journalism & Mass Communication | India | Volume 12 Issue 12, December 2023 | Rating: 5 / 10

Journalist Practices during COVID-19 Lockdown with a Focus on Human Rights Reportage in Indian Media

Shaikh Chand Ahmed | K. Nageshwar

Abstract: Human rights are a fundamental aspect of global society, ensuring the protection and dignity of individuals across the world. The concept of human rights is rooted in the belief that every person deserves to be treated with respect and fairness, regardless of their background or circumstances. However, reportage of human rights issues lags behind other subjects such as politics, entertainment, civic issues, etc. The media too has its own share of challenges when reporting human rights, ranging from lack of cooperation from authorities to lack of access to authentic information, and inability to communicate with the victims of such violations. The challenges faced by the media, especially print, were even more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic changed the way news was reported and how facts were represented, even by the print media. One of the major aspects that received attention during the pandemic was the lack of adequate reporting on human rights issues, though it was the very period of time the world over, which saw the greatest restrictions and violations of basic human rights. A similar scenario existed in India too at the time, especially during the first Covid wave. The purpose of this research is to study journalistic practices by Indian media during the three month period of the first lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. A survey of 100 respondents working for various media houses and publications in varied positions was undertaken using a questionnaire to determine their opinion regarding the trends of human rights reportage during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. Using ?agenda setting theory? as the theoretical basis, this study examines the journalistic practices that were generally followed during the COVID-19 period, with a special focus on the reportage of human rights issues, and the attitude of journalists towards the same. The study found that the majority of the respondents found the reportage of human rights during the chosen period lacking, especially when it came to reporting on violations of human rights. Lack of adequate access to healthcare and experiences of COVID-19 survivors were found to be more widely covered. The restraints on freedom of movement were a major constraint for journalists in carrying out their duty. The interference of the government was found to be instrumental in the agenda setting of the news items. Overall, the survey results pointed towards a general belief in the efficiency and fairness of journalist practices, but a general dissatisfaction about the overall reportage of human rights issues.

Keywords: COVID-19, Human rights, Human rights reportage, Journalist practices

Edition: Volume 12 Issue 12, December 2023,

Pages: 1441 - 1447

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