NAB, PBS, Others Seek Early COVID-19 Vaccine for Journalists

A close-up image of COVID-19
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Major journalism/news media organizations, including the National Association of Broadcasters, PBS, and the News Media Alliance, have asked that journalists "out in the field" be among the first to get a new COVID-19 vaccine.

That came in a letter to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which is advising the CDC on distribution of the vaccine.

They argue that journalists provide critical and essential functions as "a lifeline of important health information" and should be in the early phases of the deployment.

Communications Workers were among those designated essential workers by the government.

They pointed out that part of providing that essential information is running the risk of contracting the virus.

"In the case of this enduring pandemic, journalists have taken on an even more essential role, serving as the connective fabric for Americans who are isolated and physically separated from each other, and informing them of the constantly evolving risks in their individual communities," they wrote. "Journalists are also certain to play a significant role in the successful deployment of the vaccine itself, educating Americans about the importance of vaccination, as well as aiding in the monumental task of informing the public about the logistics of the vaccine’s dispersal around the country."

Signing on to the letter were the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the News Media Alliance (NMA), the America’s Public Television Stations (APTS), the Asian Americans Journalists Association (AAJA), the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), the National Newspaper Association (NNA), the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA), the News Leaders Association (NLA), NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) and Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ).

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.