The National Union of Journalists has warned employers that they must not force reporters to go out to cover cases of reported swine flu.
The union today issued advice to journalists about covering the flu outbreak and has reminded managers that they have a “duty of care” to their staff.
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It has urged chapels to oppose any disciplinary action that might be taken against a journalist who refuses to attend a swine flu story.
“Only volunteer to go out to report on cases of infection if you feel comfortable in doing so. No employee should be required to attend,” the NUJ said in its note to journalists.
The union has advised journalists to check the latest official advice on a daily basis before agreeing to cover a story and to consider wearing a facemask if they go out to report on cases of infection.
The swine flu outbreak originated in Mexico. The virus has since spread to the UK, US, Canada, New Zealand, Germany, Spain, Israel and Austria.