On reporting in a pandemic: in their own words

“Good journalists are resourceful. We all want to get the story. We need to find ways to cover the story to get the story that doesn’t endanger ourselves and our health, which remains paramount. With the tools of the internet age, you know, we’re able to do that. It’s never as good as being on the ground and actually talking to people in person and, and seeing them and, and sort of getting that underground visceral feeling for what’s going on. But you know, you’re doing your best in the situation, and just try to convey what the story is to your audience.”

— Ken Moritsugu 

“The first thing is to basically protect yourself. We are doing important jobs, but there’s no excuse for us to risk our health on the front lines. This is a difficult ethical question to ask us. You know, if news organizations can’t provide you with the right protective gear, you might consider refusing an assignment, right, because it’s not fair on journalists, especially for freelance journalists at this time to try to source for PPE. Even though the pandemic is such a big story, we definitely need to put our health first and make sure that we can do this reporting for the long run because we know the pandemic is here to stay. And we have to make sure that we protect ourselves first, then we can do our jobs properly.”

— Linda Lew

“The Japanese people took a lot of measures to protect themselves from COVID-19 into their own hands. I do admire that a lot of Japanese people here decided to close up their shops, even if they weren’t going to get a lot of help from the government. And I think it has to do with a lot of people here believing in taking little sacrifices so that other people can be safe. I hope that people in other countries can kind of learn from that. And journalists, especially, you know, we come in contact with so many people, so many vulnerable populations, and we go there to tell their stories. So to go there and put them at risk while doing so I don’t think is great.”

— Grace Lee

On working from home: 

“The real obvious advice is to have that separate space where you can be really focused on work – when you get inside it, it’s, you’re there to do work and nothing else. Being able to set boundaries in checking email to the extent that you’re able is really important too. It’s so easy to be always available all the time and sometimes you need to be because that’s just the nature of our work. Try to make use of your vacation days. Even if you’re just stuck at home, everyone needs a day off sometimes.”

— Mark Zastrow