Ken Woosuk Choi, Editor of Future Planning Desk, The Chosun Ilbo, South Korea
At Chosun Ilbo, the management has imposed strict guidelines for reporters. Newsgathering is done over telephone. Staff have been asked to remain at home and only go out to buy groceries and other essentials.
Meanwhile, we feel that trust in the newspaper is higher than ever, as our readers appreciate correct and factual news.
I have been designated as the ‘designated survivor’ in the newsroom. Even though I come to work, I stay in my office by myself. Normally all editors meet three times a day, but I am excluded from this meeting. In case someone in the newsroom gets sick, contingency plan will kick in.
I have told all my staff journalists to work at home and ordered them not to go out unless shopping for food. I am running online video meetings twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. I am making sure that my staff are staying at home. So, video conferencing is a very important tool.
In terms of output, I think we lost about 15%~20% in productivity, but this needs to be verified.
In the meantime, the trust on my newspaper is higher than ever because our readers appreciate correct and factual news in times of chaos.
I am proud that I am part of an organization that promotes free press and democracy. I believe these two virtues are the most important ones to deal with a pandemic of this nature. With free press and democratic institution, the public receives more accurate news and will be able to react better.
We are enduring this pandemic and we will win because we are living in a free democratic society.