COVERING COVID-19: REPORTS, RESOURCES, AND TOOLS

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.


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.

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.

BNNRC: How Community Radios Broadcasting Coronavirus Education

Eighteen Bangladeshi Community Radio Broadcasters have started broadcasting programmes on Coronavirus Education for rural people about the virus and the precautionary measures needed to avoid infection. The radios have been coordinating with the local administration and other government institutions to broadcast the programmes. They are broadcasting 4 hours daily on COVID-19 in different formats (news, radio talks, magazine, drama, jingles, interviews, and expert opinions etc.).

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.

CPJ 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.

EFJ urges politicians and media to report responsibly on COVID-19

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) regrets the lack of a coordinated European health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The EFJ calls on European policymakers, at the EU and national levels, to make clear recommendations in coordination with all relevant stakeholders.

EFJ: Journalists must be allowed to telework

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) call on all media employers to apply the principles of prevention, implementing all appropriate measures to protect the health of journalists in the workplace and condemn the attitude of some employers in the sector who are forcing their journalists to work from the newsroom.

EJN – 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 – Five Tips to Double-Check Coronavirus Information Online

First Draft has released a list of five ways anyone can double-check information they find online related to the spread of COVID-19. These simple steps provide a short road map for individuals to follow before sharing information about the virus online. Poynter also has additional information on COVID-19 related to fact-checking information.

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.

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.

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 International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has published an advisory guide for media that includes essential precautions that journalists should take into account when reporting on the health crisis caused by Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

IJNET – How are newsrooms keeping readers informed on COVID-19?

To better understand how different regions are reporting on the coronavirus, IJNet editors and translators shared innovative news products. The content is linked in different languages to provide regional insight, but descriptions are all in English.

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.

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.

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.

IPI – Europe’s leaders must protect free flow of information to tackle COVID-19

The International Press Institute (IPI) joined with press freedom partners in a call to EU leaders to express its profound concerns about the dangers of governments taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to punish independent media and to introduce restrictions on the free flow of news.

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.

Journalism.uk – 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.

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.

Reuters Institute – What will the coronavirus pandemic mean for the business of news?

Researchers at the Reuters Institute have been investigating the scope of information disorder worldwide caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. An overview to understand how people navigate the media and what role journalism can play can be found 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.

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.

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.