The coronavirus pandemic in India has reached a record high – reporting over 3 lakh new cases daily for several days in a row this week, and also touching the 200,000 mark of Covid-19 deaths mark on Wednesday. April 2021 which has seen the unabated rise of cases in what is being termed India’s ‘Second Wave’ has also been the worst for journalists in India, with 52 deaths being reported in just the last 28 days alone. This implies that on average, two journalists have died every day this month. According to a study, conducted by the Delhi-based Institute of Perception Studies, as many as 101 journalists have succumbed to COVID-19 between 1 April 2020 and 28 April 2021.
Additionally, over 50 journalists have passed away due to COVID-related complications since January 2021 reports Firstpost. The study, which was conducted by Rate The Debate, an initiative of the Institute of Perception Studies, New Delhi, found that 56 journalists have succumbed to the virus in the last four months this year, from 1 January to 28 April, 52 of these deaths were reported in the month of April alone. This implies, on average, about two journalists have died every day this month.
The data sourced is recorded until April 28. Speaking to Firstpost, Dr Kota Neelima, founder of, Rate The Debate, said that the data was collected with the intention of holding journalists’ lives accountable and to show citizens the “cost at which news was being assimilated.”
The total number of verified COVID-19 positive journalist deaths from 1 April 2020 to 28 April 2021 stood at 101. The total number of verified COVID-19 positive journalist deaths from 1 April 2021 to 28 April 2021 stood at 52. The states with the highest recorded death of journalists stood at Uttar Pradesh with 19 deaths, followed by Telangana at 17, and Maharashtra at 13.
Speaking about the data and the process used to verify it, Kota explained to Firstpost that the team followed a strict and laborious process to verify each name. “We follow the 3-step verification: Data collection, cross-checking, and making personal calls. We are 100 per cent sure that the names mentioned in our list are that of journalists who have died due to COVID-19 only. Even though there are multiple lists doing rounds over the number of scribes who have died in the past year, our list exclusively reports on the ones who have passed away due to COVID-19.”
The data collated by Rate The Debate has been inclusive to include anyone who is working in the field of news, including stringers, freelancers, photojournalists, and citizen journalists as a journalist and has taken their death into account.