52 journalists died in India due to COVID-19 in last 28 days, 101 in last one year, finds study-India News , Technomiz”

52 journalists died in India due to COVID-19 in last 28 days, 101 in last one year, finds study-India News , Technomiz”

According to a study conducted by the Delhi-based Institute of Perception Studies, as many as 101 journalists have succumbed to COVID-19 between 1 April, 2020 and 28 April, 2021. Uttar Pradesh has seen the maximum number of verified deaths, followed by Telangana and Maharashtra.

April 2021 has been the worst for journalists in India, with 52 deaths being reported in just 28 days (data available till 28 April). This implies that on an average, two journalists have died everyday this month. According to a study conducted by the Delhi-based Institute of Perception Studies, as many as 101 journalists have succumbed to COVID-19 between 1 April, 2020 and 28 April, 2021. Additionally, over 50 journalists have passed away due to COVID-related complications since January 2021.

This data comes as India continues to see a new high in COVID-19 cases, since the last few days, with over 3 lakh cases being reported every day. As per the data from the health ministry, the country on Thursday created yet another grim record with 3,79,257 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of infections since the pandemic broke out in January 2020 to 1,83,76,524.

This is the highest ever single-day rise in cases reported by any country so far, and the eighth consecutive day when India has recorded more than 3 lakh cases. India also recorded 3,645 deaths in a day for the first time, taking the toll to 2,04,832. The number of active cases has crossed the 30-lakh mark.

But experts say those numbers, however staggering, represent just a fraction of the real reach of the virus’ spread, which has thrown this country into emergency mode. “It’s a complete massacre of data,” said Bhramar Mukherjee, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan who has been following India closely, told the New York Times. “From all the modeling we’ve done, we believe the true number of deaths is two to five times what is being reported,” she added.

Media channels and organisations have been working non-stop since the onset of the pandemic in India, trying to collate and verify the actual number of deaths in the country. Journalists are not only reporting on the national health crisis, but confronting it, on a daily basis, which has taken a toll on them.

The study conducted by Rate The Debate, an initiative of the Institute of Perception Studies, New Delhi, found that 56 journalists have succumbed to the virus in the last four months this year, from 1 January to 28 April, 52 of these deaths were reported in the month of April alone. This implies, on average, about two journalists have died every day this month. 

Speaking to Technomiz, Dr Kota Neelima, founder of, Rate The Debate, said that the data was collected with the intention of holding journalists’ lives accountable and to show citizens the “cost at which news was being assimilated”. She shared the data updated as of 28 April with Firspost, which is given below:

Total number of verified COVID-19 positive journalist deaths from 1 April, 2020 to 28 April, 2021: 101

Total number of verified COVID-19 positive journalist deaths from 1 April, 2020 to 31 December, 2020 : 45

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Total number of verified COVID-19 positive journalist deaths from 1 January, 2021 to 28 April, 2021: 56

Total number of verified COVID-19 positive journalist deaths from 1 April, 2021 to 28 April, 2021: 52

Total number of verified COVID-19 positive journalist deaths, state-wise breakup from 1 April, 2020 to 28 April, 2021:

State No of deaths
Uttar Pradesh 19
Telangana 17
Maharashtra 13
Delhi 8
Odisha 9
Andhra Pradesh 6
Tamil Nadu 4
Assam 4

 

52 journalists died in India due to COVID19 in last 28 days 101 in last one year finds study

Source: ipsdelhi.org.in

The list of 101 journalists in India who lost their lives due to COVID-19 .

(Updated until 28 April, 2021)

Sr No State Name of Journalist Media Organisation
1 Andhra Pradesh Srinivasa Rao Prajashakti Daily
2 Surya Prakash Vikas Parvada
3 M Parthasarathy CVR News Channel
4 Narayanam Seshacharyulu Eenadu
5 Chandrashekar Naidu NTV
6 P Tataiah NA
7 Assam Golap Saikia All India Radio
8 Jadu Chutia Moranhat Press club president
9 Dhaneshwar Rabha Rural Reporter
10 Ashim Dutta NA
11 Bihar Krishna Mohan Sharma Times of India
12 Ram Prakash Gupta Danik Jagran
13 Arun Kumar Verma Prasar Bharti
14 Chandigarh Davinder Pal Singh PTC News
15 Chhattisgarh Pradeep Arya Journalist and Cartoonist
16 Delhi Kapil Datta Hindustan Times
17 Yogesh Kumar Doordarshan
18 Radhakrishna Muralidhar The Wire
19 Ashish Yechury News Laundry
20 Chanchal Pal Chauhan Times of India
21 Manglesh Dabral Freelance
22 Rajiv Katara Kadambini Magazine
23 Kakoli Bhattacharya NA
24 Haryana Rakesh Taneja NA
25 Himachal Pradesh Ravinder Kumar Dainik Jagran
26 Jammu and Kashmir Muhammad Shafi Naqsbandi Jehadi Akbar
27 Karnataka Pavan Hettur Prajavani
28 Somashekhar Yadavatti Samayukta Karnataka
29 Kerala D Vijayamohan Malayala Manorama
30 Madhya Pradesh Kamal Dixit Freelance
31 Manoj Binwal Prajatantra
32 Harish Choubey Dainik Bhaskar
33 Maharashtra Ms Fatima R Zakaria Freelance
34 Pandurang Raikar TV9
35 Kailassinh Pardeshi Saamana
36 Jairam Sawant Dainik Sagar
37 Haresh Munwani Veteran sports journalist
38 Javed Jivani Former Arab News staffer
39 Ashok Churi Palghar Times
40 Roshan Dias TV9
41 Rahul Dolare NA
42 Vivek Bendre The Hindu
43 Sachin Shine NA
44 Sukhnandan Gavai NA
45 Jairam Sawant NA
46 Odisha Jatish Khamari Sambad
47 Amjad Badshah Digital Platform
48 Govinda Behera News 6
49 Manoj Sahoo Nitidin
50 Karunakar Sahu Anupam Bharat
51 Prabir Pradhan News18 Odia news channel
52 K CH Ratnam Eenadu
53 Priyadarshi Patnaik The Samaja
54 Prabir Kumar Pradhan News18 (Odia)
55 Puducherry K Dharmaraj Polymer TV
56 Punjab Ashwani Kapoor Punjab Kesari
57 Naresh Bajaj Sach Kahoon
58 Tamil Nadu E Velmurugan Cameraman/Raj TV
59 V Shrikanth PTI
60 Ramanathan Reporter Private News Channel
61 Florent C Pereira Journalist-actor
62 Telangana Chintha Nagaraju Eenadu
63 K Amaranath News of Indian Journalists Union
64 P Ramesh Freelance
65 Bura Ramesh Freelance
66 Jayaprakash Freelance
67 Srinivas Andhra Jyoti
68 Sainath 99tv
69 Madiraju Giri ABN Andhra Jyothi
70 Ramzan Ali Eenadu
71 Syed Shabaz TTV
72 Sridhar Dharmasanam Maa Hyderabad
73 Sammi Reddy Vaartha
74 Kondra Srinivas Goud Hindi Milap
75 Ramachandra Rao Sakshi
76 Ms Kalpana Bathukamma TV
77 D Manoj TV5 news
78 D Ashok Andhra Bhoomi
79 Tripura Jitendra Debbarma Chini Khorang
80 Tanmoy Chakraborty Local Digital News Channel
81 Uttar Pradesh Ms Tavishi Srivastva The Pioneer
82 Neelanshu Shukla India Today
83 Vinay Srivastava Freelance
84 Pankaj Kulshreshtha -NA-
85 Pankaj Shukla Rajsatta Express
86 Ami Adhar Nidar Dainik Jagran
87 Himanshu Joshi UNI
88 Ankit Shukla Dainik Jagran
89 Pramod Shrivastava NA
90 Durga Prasad Shukla Amar Ujala
91 Sachchidananda Gupta “Sacche” Jadid Amal
92 Brijendra Patel Hindustan
93 Shivanandan Sahu Punjab Kesari Digital
94 Prashant Saxena Digital Journalist
95 Rohitash Gupta Freelance
96 Ankit Shukla Dainik Jagran
97 Raju Mishra Senior Journalist
98 Anil Srivastava Dainik Jagran
99 Saket Suman Janta TV
100 West Bengal Ronny Roy Aajkaal
101 Kishore Bhimani Cricket journalist

As per the research, Uttar Pradesh has seen the maximum number of verified deaths, followed by Telangana and Maharashtra.

Speaking about the data and the process used to verify it, Kota explained that the team followed a strict and laborious process to verify each name. “We follow the 3-step verification: Data collection, cross-checking, and making personal calls. We are 100 percent sure that the names mentioned in our list are that of journalists who have died due to COVID-19 only. Even though there are multiple lists doing rounds over the number of scribes who have died in the past year, our list exclusively reports on the ones who have passed away due to COVID-19 .”

Talking about the issues faced while collecting data, Kota said one of the main problems that came was to define who exactly fell under the category of being a “journalist”.

”Traditionally, a journalist is considered as someone who is in the front of the camera, an anchor or reporter, or a byline. But that is not true. There is an entire team behind that news report you see on TV, a researcher, a cameraman, a technician, and various other departments. As per me, anyone who is involved in this process of news, should be considered as a journalist,” said Kota.

Rate the Debate has also written a letter to chief ministers of various states like Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and even the Central government, urging them to vaccinate all journalists immediately. Even though journalists are considered as essential service, they are not counted as frontline workers. The Editors Guild of India earlier this month had urged the Union government to declare journalists as frontline workers and ensure priority vaccination.

The data collated by Rate The Debate has been inclusive to include anyone who is working in the field of news, including stringers, freelancers, photojournalists, and citizen journalists as a journalist and has taken their death into account. 

“Incidentally, most of the deaths recorded on our list are journalists from print and digital media, who are not considered traditional reporters as we don’t see them on TV.” added Kota.

Another problem faced while verifying data was to collect names of those journalists working in remote areas and interior parts of states, where deaths were not being reported and accessibility was less. As prominent journalist Rana Ayyub noted, “Some of the best journalists in India covering the COVID devastation are not on Twitter, Instagram etc. Away from the din of social media, they strive to get us the truth while being vulnerable to ‘punishment’ by state governments.”

“The data you see is just about half of the data we’ve actually collected. We haven’t been able to verify the deaths, but the death has occurred. If you can see about 70 names on the list, we actually received over 150-160 names, but they couldn’t be verified by our team and hence have been left out from the list” Kota noted.

When asked if there was a certain age-group that was affected the most while researching for the data, Kota noted that there were senior journalists who had succumbed to COVID-19 in their late sixties and junior reporters in their thirties. “There was no specific age group, but factors like availability of ICU beds and oxygen in their respective states have played a major role.”

In a harrowing example, a journalist from Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow, Vinay Srivastava, had tested positive for COVID-19 , but couldn’t get a test or medical care. In a tweet on 16 April, he made an appeal for help, saying his oxygen levels were declining, and tagged local officials. He died ten days later.

In another incident from UP, a 36-year-old local journalist from Bareilly, passed away to COVID-19 in his house. His family alleged that they were not able to arrange a hospital bed or proper treatment, according to Times Of India.

The lack of government data of any kind on the number of deaths that are being reported in the media fraternity has posed another challenge for the research. “Numbers are everything! Numbers help us keep accountability and humanise the deaths, by taking note of each death lost due to the pandemic. With no government data, we had to start from square one and collect data from crowdsourcing and verifying each and every death personally,” said Kota.

Currently, the team is in the process of verifying in excess of 40 (and counting) more claims of journalist deaths due to COVID-19 as the numbers keep rising day-by-day, noted Kota.

This research was put together with the aim that even if the government does not think it’s necessary to keep tabs on the journalist lives lost in this pandemic, Rate the Debate on behalf of the media community, will keep tabs and update its data on it, “till no more journalist deaths are reported.”


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