Switzerland: Elettra Fiumi talks about her experience covering COVID-19

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by The Coalition for Women in Journalism

Elettra Fuimi is a journalist and documentary filmmaker based in Lugano, Switzerland. She is also the founder of Fiumi Studios – a full-service production and online content strategy company. Elettra has been monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy – her home country, which became one of hardest hit countries in the world.

In Switzerland, Elettra shared, the number of coronavirus cases have been high but testing is limited, and so is access to information. While Italy has the highest number of cases after the United States of America.

In order to keep up with updates regarding the virus, Elettra reads and watches news daily. However, she also speaks with as many people as possible. “Often, personal stories can shed a deeper light on what’s not being covered in the news,” she said.

Elettra further informed us that she heads the Video Consortium in Italy, which is a creative community of non-fiction filmmakers. “Our headquarters are in New York and we have chapters worldwide. We started hosting virtual gatherings to continue the conversations. I’m also a part of various other filmmaker groups. I find it useful to stay connected with other filmmakers for support, information sharing and solidarity,” she shared with CFWIJ.

Elettra has been reporting through her phone and email. Other than that, she keeps tabs on the situation by utilizing crowd-sroucing footage from social media research, her network and from people on the ground. She informed us that the reason why she has taken the work-from-home route to cover the pandemic is because “reporters on the ground have safety gear, typically one time use kits that are extraordinarily hard to find these days.”

Elettra, like most people across the world, is unable to travel in and out of Italy because she is a Swiss resident.

“In Switzerland everything except non-essential stores are closed and they recommend staying home unless you have to travel for work or to buy food. It’s not as strict, however, as in Italy where everyone needs a self-declaration form to move,” she stated, adding that they also need an Assignment Letter from a news outlet.

In order to stay active while being restricted at home, Elettra keeps herself busy with different activities.

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