Asean journalists demand better insurance coverage

HANOI: Better insurance coverage for pressmen, especially for those sent to work in dangerous areas will be among the key recommendations that would be brought to high-level Asean meetings in a move to improve the safety of journalists in the region.

The idea pitched by Malaysia during the recently concluded Asean Workshop on Capacity Building to Improve Safety of Journalists received favourable feedback from representatives of each participating member state.

All representatives unanimously agreed that there was a need to find a mechanism to ensure that life and accident insurance as well as just and special compensation for media workers sent for dangerous coverage would be well taken care of in the future by each member state.

Additionally, the inaugural meeting also agreed upon Malaysia's suggestion that Asean should cooperate with the United Nations in organising and facilitating courses, especially practical training on media workers safety.

Malaysia was represented by Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) reporter Nik Nurfaqih Nik Wil and RTM's English News Editor Mohamad Nun.

Vietnam's Deputy Director General of Department of International Cooperation, Trieu Minh Long during the workshop's closing speech said that all recommendations would first be presented at the Asean Sub Committee on Information meeting in Kuala Lumpur end of this month, before tabling it at the Asean Senior Officials Responsible for Information (SOMRI) meeting next year.

He stressed that Vietnam as the host country for the workshop would do its best to ensure that all recommendations would not just be on paper but instead proceed to implementation.

Other recommendations submitted during the two-day workshop included conducting exchange programmes among journalists in the member states as well as to chart a standard security protocol manual for media practitioners in Asean. — Bernama