« Back to all News

Covering COVID-19: Reports, resources, and tools

Author: Olga Komarova | 25. June 2020

As COVID-19, also known as novel coronavirus, spreads internationally, so too does potentially harmful misinformation and disinformation. With countries all around the world grappling to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the need for resilient, independent, and accurate media is becoming increasingly apparent. Many media organisations, including some of GFMD’s members and partners, have been working on projects to help prevent the spread of false information, which can be found below. We invite you to share any thoughts, resources, or tools that can contribute to the effort to combat the spread of misinformation around COVID-19. A list of funding opportunities to help media during and beyond the pandemic can be found here.

ARTICLE 19 – Viral Lies: Misinformation and the Coronavirus

ARTICLE 19 has published a briefing on how states, the media, and social media companies can help to combat COVID-19 (coronavirus) by committing to transparency, tackling misinformation, and promoting authoritative health advice. They also have a role to play in addressing hate speech directed at individuals of Chinese or Asian descent, connected to the coronavirus outbreak.

ACOS Alliance – Practical initiatives and resources

With freelance journalists and news organisations working under extraordinary and challenging conditions, ACOS Alliance has compiled a selection of resources, including safety advice and funding opportunities. Find it here.

ACOS Alliance – COVID-19 News Organisation Safety Protocols

This resource offers a tool for news organisations to adopt safety protocols that respond to the extraordinary circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The document seeks to empower commissioning editors to improve and adapt safety practices so the pandemic is covered professionally and in a way that minimises risk. This document pays special attention to working with freelancers, including best practices around key issues like accreditation, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), insurance, and expenses.

BBC Media Action Tips for Media Covering COVID-19

BBC Media Action is working with partners – including the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the World Health Organization, Internews, Translators Without Borders, and others – to counter harmful rumours, while helping to ensure reporting is for people affected, not just about them. Find the list of tips here.

BBC Media Action: The COVID-19 Infodemic – A view from Bangladesh

During a health crisis, trusted, accurate and timely information can help communities prevent or reduce the spread of disease, and guide those affected towards services and treatment. Hear from BBC Media Action Senior Project Manager in Bangladesh, Kate Gunn, about the latest developments from their new global communications initiative tackling the COVID-19 ‘info-demic’ here.

BBC Media Action: How did local radio stations support their communities during the Ebola crisis?

How to communicate in response to a crisis like COVID-19? Case studies indicate that local radio stations are able to provide actionable information and contribute to changing listeners’ attitudes during an outbreak, as seen during the Ebola crisis.

Bellingcat – Tools for investigating coronavirus misinformation

At Bellingcat, they are determined to bring your attention to the wide array of tools and guides to conduct online investigations at this difficult, confusing, and dangerous time of COVID-19. Find them here.

BIRN – Digital Rights in the Time of COVID-19

BIRN and SHARE Foundation are bringing you the latest updates and cases of arbitrary arrests, surveillance, phone tapping, privacy breaches, and other digital rights violations as countries of Central and Southeast Europe impose emergency legislation to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.

Centre for Law and Democracy – Report on the Right to Information during Health Emergencies

On 27 May 2020, the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) released a report analysing the international human rights standards that should guide States when it comes to the right to information, Maintaining Human Rights during Health Emergencies: Brief on Standards Regarding the Right to Information.

On June 16th 2020, CLD released the Executive Summary of the Brief in ArabicEnglishFrench and Spanish.

Columbia and Science Po – Advice to Media Practitioners Covering COVID-19

Thomas R. Lansner, visiting professor at Sciences Po Paris School of International Affairs, has compiled a list of tips and advice for media practitioners covering COVID-19, as well as a selection of other useful resources for reporting on the coronavirus and other crises. All lists can be found here.

Committee to Protect Journalists Safety Advisory – Covering the coronavirus outbreak

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has compiled a list of useful tips and resources for journalists covering the COVID-19 epidemic. The resource is available in multiple languages and is regularly being updated.

Committee to Protect Journalists – How do I cover COVID-19? Frequently asked questions for CPJ’s safety experts

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)’s safety experts have answered a series of FAQs related to safety of journalists while covering the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deutche Welle Akademie – COVID-19 MediaDev Blog Portal

DW Akademie have developed a coronavirus hub for articles, tips, resources, and blog posts about the pandemic and its impact on the media development and journalism support communities.

Ethical Journalism Network – Media ethics, safety and mental health: reporting in the time of COVID-19

As COVID-19 spreads, so too do levels of anxiety around what we know and don’t know, who and what to trust, and how to stay physically and mentally safe. Based on her experiences, expertise, and conversations with colleagues, Director of The Ethical Journalism Network, Hannah Storm, shares some considerations to tackle those challenges.

European Journalism Observatory – How Media Worldwide are covering the coronavirus

How is the media covering the coronavirus outbreak worldwide? Global Journalism Observatory’s international network of media scholars and journalism researchers is providing insights into the coverage of the crisis here.

Fathm – #JournoBeacon for journalists and newsrooms affected by COVID-19

Fathm is using social media to match journalists looking for work with newsrooms looking for staff during the coronavirus crisis. Journalists looking for work are asked to tweet or write a public Facebook post including #journobeacon with four key pieces of information:

  • Who you are
  • What you can do and how you want to help
  • Where you are (use a #tag location)
  • How you can be verified and contacted (e.g. LinkedIn, email address, open DMs)

Read more here.

Fathm – Speakers for online journalism school classes

As journalism schools move their teaching online due to COVID-19, the Fathm team listed here are making themselves available for free one-hour presentations to classes about our work.

First Draft – Coronavirus Resources for Reporters

First Draft have compiled all valuable resources for journalists covering COVID-19 and added them to a dedicated resource centre on their website. The centre contains newsgathering and verification tools, ethics and responsible reporting guidance, a database of debunks of mis- and disinformation, data and information sources, a searchable reading list, FAQs that journalists may have, and links to sign up for video calls on reporting coronavirus.

First Draft – Free Two Hour Course for Journalists Covering COVID

First Draft is offering a Free Two Hour Course for Journalists Covering COVID-19. Sign up here.

Freedom of the Press Foundation – How journalists can work from home securely

To aid the journalists and news practitioners who have made the switch to remote working as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Freedom of the Press Foundation have listed their best advice for journalists working from home.

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung – Democracy and the State of Emergency

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung have released a report outlining the cause of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the Western Balkans, Croatia, and Slovenia.

Fundación Gabo and Facebook – COVID-19 Webinars

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, Fundación Gabo and Facebook are offering two Webinars that will be held in Spanish and will take place on the 21st and the 28th of April. They will address various topics of interest, such as teleworking, health care and safety tips for journalists or how to responsibly inform about the coronavirus pandemic. More here.

GIJN – Tips for Journalists Covering COVID-19 

To support journalists in their coverage of COVID-19, GIJN’s Miraj Chowdhury has pulled together advice from various journalism organisations, experienced journalists, and experts to compile a comprehensive guide on how to responsibly cover this crisis.

GIJN – 9 Lessons from Chinese Journalists on Covering COVID-19

The COVID-19 outbreak has sparked a new wave of Chinese muckraking. As it now spreads globally, what advice can Chinese journalists share with colleagues across the world from their experience? Here you can find some tips for reporters worldwide, from the Global Investigative Journalism Network.

GIJN – COVID-19 Webinar Series

The Global Investigative Journalism Network have assembled experts on health reporting, infectious disease, trauma, and financial survival to help journalists navigate the difficult waters ahead through a series of webinars.

ICFJ – The Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum

The Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum from ICFJ was developed to connect journalists with some of the world’s best health practitioners, newsroom leaders, and other experts, who can answer questions about #COVID–19 in live video chats.

IFCN – International Coronavirus Fact-Checking Collaboration

A global collaboration of fact-checking organisations is working to disprove rumours about COVID-19. As of February 27th, 91 fact-checking organisations from 40 countries have joined the CoronaVirusFacts Alliance. Participants must follow some simple rules, such as contributing with at least one check, republishing content with the author’s credit, and allowing your verifications to be translated and published by other outlets.

IFJ – Safety Advisory for Media Professionals

The IFJ has published an advisory guide for media that includes essential precautions journalists should take into account when reporting on the health crisis.  The guide is available in English, French, Spanish, Greek, Arabic and Farsi.

IJNET – Ten Tips for Online Teaching

To aid journalism students and educators dealing with the switch to online learning, Rick Dunham, co-director of Global Business Journalism, has developed a list of tips for coping with the transition to remote teaching and learning.

IJNET – Mental health tips and resources for journalists

Journalists around the world are working overtime to cover the COVID-19 pandemic. Covering certain stories can have a major impact on them, causing anxiety, stress, and burnout. Find mental health tips and resources for journalists by IJNET here.

INSI – Tips for Reporting from Contaminated Environments

Reporting on COVID-19 from contaminated environments requires a thorough risk assessment, specialist training, and a series of strict precautionary measures to mitigate and minimise risk. INSI have developed guidelines to help journalists understand how to report safely from these areas and to minimise the risks involved. The resource has also been translated to Arabic here.

INDEX – Index and JFJ launch global initiative to monitor attacks on the media during coronavirus

Index on Censorship and Justice for Journalists Foundation (JFJ) announce a joint global initiative to monitor attacks and violations against the media, specific to the current coronavirus-related crisis. Media freedom violations will be catalogued with a map hosted in Index’s current website and on the Justice for Journalists’ Media Risk Map. More here.

Internews – Fighting an “Infodemic” About the COVID-19 Outbreak

Following an investigation from a US State Department which found that close to 2 million tweets spread conspiracy theories about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) over a three-week period in January and February, an Internews partner in the Philippines – VERA Files – is attempting to raise awareness and counteract this “infodemic” by posting a series of videos on social media.

Internews – Tools for news reporting during social distancing

As part of Internews’ new COVID-19 project, they have developed a list of tips and tools for journalists who are continuing to work throughout social distancing measures.

IPI COVID-19 Media Freedom Monitoring Website

The International Press Institute (IPI) has launched a new web page to track attacks on journalists and restrictions on press freedom amid efforts to tackle the current COVID-19 pandemic.

IREX – Media Programmes Counter Disinformation About the Coronavirus

Many media organisations are working to challenge the spread of misinformation related to COVID-19, including IREX, who have compiled a list of their media programmes and partners who are working to prevent the spread of deadly misinformation about the coronavirus.

Tool for journalists: Clockify, for improving task and time management

Whether you are a staff reporter or a freelance journalist, you have loads of tasks to complete within a limited time. Clockify is a free tool which helps you keep track of how much time you are spending with different tasks and projects every day.

MDIF – How to minimise the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on your media business

MDIF has developed a series of recommendations for media businesses to limit the losses they are facing and to give direction to their business decisions during the coronavirus pandemic. These recommendations were created for MDIF clients, independent media in a range of countries where access to free and independent news and information is under threat, places like Guatemala, South Africa and Indonesia, but they apply equally to most media organisations in most parts of the world.

Find the list of recommendations here.

National Press Club – Covering Coronavirus: Expert Tips for Journalists and Communicators

Journalists with questions about how to responsibly and pro-actively cover the coronavirus epidemic attended an educational panel discussion on Monday, March 9th, at the National Press Club, where they heard from top health care journalists, risk communication experts, and senior public health officials. A video recording of the conference is available here.

Ossigeno per l’informazione – The challenge of the virus to the identity of journalism

Ossigeno per l’informazione have released a reflection by Italian journalist, Sergio Baraldi, on the change in the attitude of Italian journalism with respect to the health crisis caused by the coronavirus. Baraldi argues that journalism has, and must, move away from sensationalism to more responsible media coverage.

The Public Interest Journalism Initiative (PIJI) – Newsroom Mapping Project

The Public Interest Journalism Initiative is documenting the changes in news availability around Australia, from media companies to mastheads, newsrooms, and stations. Find the Newsroom Mapping Project here.

OpenWHO COVID-19 Knowledge-Sharing Platform

OpenWHO is WHO’s new interactive, web-based, knowledge-transfer platform offering online courses to improve the response to health emergencies. OpenWHO enables the organisations and their key partners to transfer life-saving knowledge to large numbers of frontline responders.

Politifact – 7 ways to avoid misinformation during the coronavirus pandemic

To challenge misinformation around COVID-19, Politifact have created a guide with seven ways to avoid falling for some of the most common falsehoods about epidemics like the coronavirus.

Pulitzer Center – Coronavirus News Collaboration Challenge

The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, a non-profit organisation that supports independent global journalism, is seeking proposals that develop innovative approaches to reporting on the novel coronavirus crisis using collaboration among journalists and newsrooms across state lines or national borders. This opportunity is open to all newsrooms and independent journalists in the United States and abroad.

RSF – Live updates of Covid-19 impacts of press freedom

Launched by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), “Tracker 19” is a tool to document state censorship and deliberate disinformation, and their impact on the right to reliable news and information. Find it here.

The Carter Center – Mental Health Reporting Resources

The Carter Center mental health journalism fellows have been reporting on the mental health impact of COVID-19. You’ll find here their reporting, mental health resources for journalists covering the pandemic and for the general public impacted by the virus.

The H2H Fund to Fight COVID-19 “Infodemic”

The H2H Network has funded four independent international organisations focused on communication and information to assist the global response to COVID-19. The network will support these agencies to fight the global “info-demic”. The four funded organisations are BBC Media ActionEvidence AidInternews, and Translators without Borders.

Click here for details of the H2H fund.

The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) – COVID-19 Engagement Hub

COVID-19 has been declared a global health emergency. Trusted, clear and effective communication and engagement approaches can ensure that fear, panic and rumours do not undermine response efforts and lead to COVID-19 to spread even more quickly. You can find tools and resources from IFRC here.

The Rory Peck Trust – COVID-19 Resources

From safety guides, funding and job opportunities, to online training videos, The Rory Peck Trust has put together an evolving online resource centre related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Find it here.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation Crisis Reporting Hub

The COVID-19 Crisis Reporting Hub – a global initiative – will first launch in English-speaking African nations where the pandemic is set to hit hard, before scaling around the world. It will equip a cohort of 15 journalists with the core skills and information they need to report on the pandemic and its impact on economies, health care systems and communities.

Thomson Foundation – Journalism Now Online COVID-19 Courses

Thomson Foundation’s Journalism Now programme is a series of CPD-accredited online interactive courses designed and led by industry experts providing the latest in digital and multimedia skills. Thomson Foundation have collaborated with the International Federation of Journalists, The Ethical Journalism Network, Free Press Unlimited, and the Dart Center to provide a series of courses for journalists covering COVID-19.

UNESCO – Resource Center of Responses to COVID-19

In a context of unprecedented challenges for the media and digital technology sectors, UNESCO has created a resource center of selected responses to COVID-19. It includes a collection of examples of actions related to communication and information made available for the purpose of:

  • sharing practices,
  • identifying priorities,
  • facilitating partnerships,
  • amplifying good practices,
  • providing advice and technical assistance to governments and relevant national stakeholders, and
  • fostering North-South, South-South, and triangular cooperation.

Union Global – Fighting the COVID-19 Crisis

Union Global has created a report providing an overview of union action and support measures that are being put in place by governments, funding agencies, and the European Union in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

WAN-IFRA – Corona Newsroom

The World Association of News Publishers, WAN-IFRA, has created a site to highlight how newsrooms around the world are tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. It consists of advice, resources, and articles from media professionals and journalists around the world.

WAN-IFRA – Racism, misinformation, inclusion: How to ethically cover COVID-19

Zoom – Tips for using Zoom

Zoom is an online tool that can be used for Educational, Working or Health purposes. This site is here to help you most effectively use Zoom as we all navigate the coronavirus pandemic.


You are using an outdated browser which can not show modern web content.

We suggest you download Chrome or Firefox.