CORONAVIRUS: During a global crisis like COVID-19, the media plays an important role in helping to ensure people have access to independent news.
Countries including the United States, South Africa and India have tried to restrict access to briefings or demand that journalists speak only with government-approved health experts. Reporters in Ukraine, Zimbabwe and elsewhere have been physically attacked while trying to report on lockdown measures.
In regions that already were repressive or experiencing unrest, the risk of violence and arrest is higher.
Journalists working overseas told VOA about their challenges covering COVID-19, either in places experiencing unrest and hardship, or where the media are restricted or censored.
Some of the issues they are encountering include obstacles to accessing information, and arrests and accusations of false news for reporting on the pandemic or criticizing authorities. Other barriers involve internet restrictions and reporting in the field when personal protective equipment is in short supply.