Truncated, frozen but protected. On Argentinian television, the faces look more like those we now see elsewhere. For more than two weeks, the trays of different chains have been filled with hosts and guests wearing the essential barrier mask, a measure claimed by many journalists. “We are not a higher caste. Why require other workers, including people filming us, to use the mask all day and not do it ourselves? “, Justifies the star host Nicolás Magaldi, nearly 700,000 subscribers on Instagram, more than 620,000 on Twitter, whose mobilization on social networks has largely driven the pro-mask movement.
It is that on April 11, “the big family of the television”, according to the formula devoted in Argentina also, was mourned: Mauro Viale, 73 years old, famous journalist, has just died in a dazzling way, hospitalized the day before after contracting the coronavirus. Two days earlier, he was conducting one of his last televised interviews, with his face uncovered, with a neurologist, on the skyrocketing cases of coronavirus in the country.
“It’s time to start viewing TV show presentation as a risky profession. Please start wearing masks if the shows are not outdoors ”, implores on Twitter, in the wake of the announcement of the death, Omar Sued, president of the Argentinian society of infectious diseases. The host Nicolás Magaldi, of Canal 9 (private channel) takes the gear, inviting his colleagues to imitate him: “The situation is worrying. From tomorrow you will see me wearing a mask. It doesn’t change the way TV is done. What is changing is the way we take care of each other. “
“We must set an example, especially since there is a relaxation of behavior in society. »Rosario Lufrano, President of RTA
The message goes viral, disseminated by the hashtag “masks on TV”. From Monday morning, Argentinian public television and radio instituted the wearing of a compulsory mask. “It was already off the sets, for everyone, the journalists only removed it at the time of the show”, recalls Rosario Lufrano, president of RTA (Argentine Radio and Television). “But it was time to take further action. We must set an example, especially since there is a relaxation of behavior in society ”, she observes.
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