Journalism and Corona
With meetings banned and government advice to stay home, journalism and news gathering are shifting inside to digital media, online contacts, teleconferencing. However, as in the UK, journalists and photographers have been designated, key workers. We have an important and responsible role to fulfill. The UK’s Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, Oliver Dowden, has confirmed in a tweet the importance of journalism right now.
Meanwhile, acting deputy chair of the Dutch NVJ Renske Heddema has said: “Journalism – indeed – has a vital function for the oxygen of society”.
It may, as in photography, be essential to be outside in order to carry out our work properly.
If so, take press credentials with you, try to avoid groups or public transport, keep two metres from anyone else, and return home as soon as possible. See for health advice.
Please share with Netherlands NUJ your problems, experiences, and tips of how to survive these extraordinary times. Where, at all possible, stay in, work from home, stay safe.
Government emergency help for ZZPers
You may be suffering financially from the crisis. Remember freelance journalists like all the self–employed (ZZPers) are entitled to emergency income support for three months. Your income will be topped up to a national minimum, or social, wage to cover your cost of living expenses, approximately €375 a week. Apply online now through your local council, for example in Amsterdam.
The system is also up and running in Utrecht, Rotterdam, and Groningen. Previous rules that you must have a viable business or fall back or savings or a partner’s income do not apply.
Amsterdam has already reported 5,000 applicants so it could be two to three weeks before any money is paid out.
However, announcing the plans Social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees acknowledged that the self-employed stand in ”the frontline” and feel the consequences of lost work the most.
The Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs has a contact number for Coronavirus issues 0800-2117 and can also be tweeted on @KvK-NL.