To try to help keep people safe during the worldwide public health emergency surrounding the new coronavirus, Youth Journalism International has some new policies aimed at protecting our students and their communities.
Given that covid-19 has stricken nearly every country, our students should avoid any but the smallest group gatherings. Students should practice “social distancing” or “social isolation” even then. This makes much of traditional newsgathering, which often requires eyewitness presence in crowds and in-person interviews, off-limits to our young reporters, photographers and artists. It is a necessary step until this crisis has passed.
Additionally, any and all gatherings related to Youth Journalism International that involve more than two people are strongly discouraged. Doing almost everything online is less than ideal, but it is a necessity as the world tries to deal with this unique threat. We will work with individuals for whom this creates a hardship.
There is nothing more important to YJI than the safety of everyone participating in it. In the past, that’s meant prohibitions on taking dangerous risks for stories. Now just doing the normal things of life can be unsafe. It’s difficult to draw lines, hard to know what’s acceptable and what we should avoid. We can only plead with students and friends of YJI to use common sense and follow guidelines from the World Health Organization and other experts.
To our students: take care of yourselves. This crisis will pass. Let’s do everything we can to make sure we’re all still around to continue our important work for the long run.