President of the Chartered Institute of Journalists Professor Tim Crook said journalists deserve credit for surviving and maintaining professional reporting and countering misinformation during one of the most catastrophic pandemics in history.
He said there had been the largest loss of life and disruption to everyday existence since the two world wars of the last century.
The Institute had distributed more welfare funds and support to its members and non-member journalists in the last 18 months than at any equivalent time in its 137 year history.
At the Institute’s AGM on Friday (29th October) he hoped convening CIoJ events online because of COVID will soon become a distant memory.
“The Institute has lost much-loved and stalwart members to COVID and those who have survived the deadly virus now live with disabling long-term symptoms.
“So many of our members, particularly freelancers, had to cope with total cancellations of their commissions and income.”
He added: “Many were not supported by furlough and government schemes. Our staff, welfare and charity fund committees all responded sensitively, quickly and effectively to help those with desperate and immediate needs.
“The CIoJ is enormously proud of the achievements of professional journalists everywhere for maintaining their role as essential workers reporting in the public interest with responsibility and sometimes at great risk to themselves.
“Many journalists have had to cope with threats, intimidation and unacceptable attacks on their work when reporting fairly, accurately and critically.”
Formed in 1884, the Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ) is the world’s oldest established professional body for journalists, and a representative voice of media and communications professionals throughout the UK and the Commonwealth.
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