When Covid-19 broke out, numerous reporters willingly entered the pandemic's epicenter without fearing hardships to promptly and accurately report on the pandemic situation, prevention, and control.
Many reporters stayed in epidemic-hit areas to report as quickly as possible. In the photo: Reporters work at a Covid-19 checkpoint in Le Loi commune, Chi Linh city
Overcoming difficulties to work
Hai Duong is one of localities affected by all four Covid-19 waves. In which, in the 3rd wave, Hai Duong was the hardest-hit epicenter. Many Central and local reporters encountered a lot of difficulties, even dangers, during work in the epicenter.
On January 27, hearing about the complicated situation of the Covid-19 epidemic in Chi Linh city, Nguyen Van Duong, whose pen name is Nguyen Duong, a resident reporter of Zingnews.vn e-magazine in the Northeast region, went to the locality. He was accompanied by a colleague in charge of taking photos.
To promptly report on the epidemic's developments, Duong had to be ready to work anytime and anywhere. It could be the corridor of a field hospital, the gate of a concentrated quarantine area, or the roadside of a blockaded residential area.
"There is much work to do for an e-newspaper. To ensure timely propaganda as required, I have to concurrently write articles, make videos, etc.," said Duong.
"At that time, the epidemic quickly progressed in Hai Duong, spreading from Chi Linh to other localities, so my colleague and I had to work non-stop even day and night. Sometimes, we were too tired but only dared get a wink of sleep before continuing to work."
The epidemic broke out strongly in Hai Duong at the same time as the Lunar New Year. A lot of reporters going to Hai Duong from other provinces to report on the epidemic situation had to celebrate the Lunar New Year in the Eastern land.
The most impression of journalist Ngo Anh Van, Head of the Department of Social Affairs and Readers of the Ministry of Health's Health and Life Newspaper, during his stay in the epicenter of Hai Duong was his first New Year's Eve at work in a faraway place. However, instead of feeling sad because he had to be away from home on the New Year's Eve, Van was swept along with work.
The New Year's Eve was also the time experts from the Ministry of Health had a meeting at a field hospital at the Medical Center of Chi Linh city. After the meeting, Van had to write and promptly send articles to the editorial office. Just like that, it was almost morning when all work was done.
To promptly report on the epidemic situation, local reporters also faced many difficulties. Nguyen Tien Manh, a reporter of the Hai Duong Newspaper, said that when the epidemic broke out in Chi Linh city, he often had to stay there for coverage.
Quick developments of the epidemic led to high working intensity. Sometimes, Manh had to work until 3 pm before taking a break to have lunch. Nevertheless, at that time, Chi Linh city was locked down, and all restaurants were closed, so Manh could only buy and eat bread with condensed milk.
"A member of the Covid-19 prevention and control team of Chi Linh city saw me eating in the room for reception of support for epidemic prevention and control in the city. He shared part of his helping with me, making me touched," said Manh.
Fast, multi-dimensional information
In return for those hardships, reporters in the epicenter quickly and accurately reported on the epidemic situation.
Duong said only when going to the epicenter could he and his colleague have interesting and truthful articles about epidemic fighting in the locality.
"Not only reporting on the epidemic situation, we also interviewed medical experts and local leaders about suitable epidemic prevention and control plans and methods. Especially, we successfully depicted the hardships of frontline forces in the fight against the epidemic. If we had not gone to the epicenter, we would not have had such multi-dimensional information," added Duong.
The outbreak in Chi Linh city was a big challenge for local propagandists. They were always in a state of readiness for propaganda several times more than usual.
"There was a night when the city authorities moved thousands of workers to a concentrated isolation area, and we had to get there for coverage," said Phuong Van Kien, a reporter of the Chi Linh Radio Station.
"Then when samples were taken in a remote residential area, we also walked carrying cameras for up to an hour. It was cold at that time, but many people were still drenched in sweat from fatigue.
"However, after the propaganda phase, local reporters accumulated a lot of valuable experience. It is initiative in work, professional working style, and especially improvement of the topicality of news and more multi-dimensional views of issues needing to be propagandized."