Author: Twinkle Siwach
Author Affiliation: PhD Research Scholar, Centre for Media Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
Abstract: The paper explores the impact of COVID-19 on news media workers in Delhi, through direct structured, open-ended, in-depth telephonic interviews with six journalists, selected through snowball sampling;
from print, visual and digital media platforms. We look at their experiences, especially during the lockdown period, as they worked at the frontlines, covering news from the ground and the sites of exposure to the virus such as hospitals, mortuaries, health centres, etc. The burden increases during public health emergencies with working hours becoming more dynamic and increased pressure to maintain work and life balance. They also had to adapt to ‘the new normal’ while ensuring the up-to-date informational flow. However, financial, professional and psychological hardships are inevitable in this uncertain period, and the paper attempts to study how their personal or professional lives were affected. It explores if such burden was exponentially higher on women workers, contributing to social reproductive labour.
Keywords: COVID-19, Delhi, Knowledge Work, Media Workers, News Media.