Special edition COVID-19. The OMH team, and especially our social media managers Asma Abidi and Ruslan Mihalevschi, have gone around the web to compile the best advice for journalists to cover the COVID-19 pandemic as it paralyzes us all.
This newsletter includes: where to find reliable information and visual data, how to fight fake news and most importantly, how to protect yourself. Please share this post with your colleagues. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you want to share more resources or ask for our advice!
As the world moves into a global lockdown to curb the spread of the pandemic, media mentions of the coronavirus are soaring. Fake news is on the rise and misinformation is leading to fear and panic. This round-up presents tips, tools, and resources to provide the most accurate data and context for journalists.
Your safety is a priority.
A quick reminder of the barrier gestures to adopt:
- frequent handwashing,
- using one-time tissues,
- coughing or sneezing into the elbow,
- avoiding handshakes and hugs.
But also staying home and avoiding unnecessary social interactions. We know that mental health is important and being isolated from your newsroom or your work environment for a while can be hard. This is an example of how to cope with the confinement stress.
Because your safety covering the COVID-19 is crucial, please refer to this handout as you proceed with your reporting: CPJ Safety Advisory: Covering the coronavirus outbreak.
Also, we have to pay attention to digital security. We will soon allow a whole section to digital security on the net for journalists and media professionals.
The daily coverage of the Coronavirus spread requires accurate numbers and figures. Please refer to the official sources.
Check the official websites
Always refer to the official World Health Organisation (WHO) website. This is where you will find information and guidance regarding the current outbreak of COVID-19. Please visit this page for daily updates and make sure you report the accurate numbers for your audience. The following links will help you navigate the different website sections.
- Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak
- Situation dashboard
- Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: videos
Additionally, don’t hesitate to refer to your national authorities’ websites: government, health and Home affairs ministers, national health and security agencies…
Other official websites you can consult :
- The World Health Organisation
- Also by country
- The European Commission Coronavirus response:
- Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, the leading national public health institute of the United States:
- The Australian Government Department of Health:
- The French Government on Coronavirus:
- The German Federal Ministry of Health:
- The official website of the United Kingdom website:
- The official website of the African Union:
Tracking the coronavirus spread worldwide
Interactive maps are the most effective way to visualize the spread of the virus on a day-by-day basis. Here’s a round-up of platforms that allow you to track the virus spread. You can use screenshots o include in your article. Some websites allow also embedding maps and other visuals. Do not forget to mention the source.
-The Coronavirus resource center developed by the Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE): is an interactive web-based map to track cases of the virus COVID-19 around the world. If you want to explore the data, go to this related section.
-Coronameter : an interactive website in English, French and Arabic based on data provided by Johns Hopkins University.
Podcasts you can listen to
-Hosted by CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Facts versus Fiction podcast has all the information you need. Bonus: it is short, catchy and constructive.
-Coronavirus Global Update : Keep following updates about the Coronavirus spread in different countries with the BBC World Service. This podcast helps you understand the global crisis and get consistent facts for your production. The BBC Radio hosts another Coronavirus podcast that brings you the latest on the global coronavirus outbreak, featuring correspondents and expert guests.
-Coronacast from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation ABC is a podcast that helps to answer your questions about coronavirus or COVID19. The hosts break down the latest news and research to help you understand how the world is living through an epidemic.
-AfricaCheck’s Matter Of Fact is a discussion with Kate Wilkinson, Acting Deputy Editor at Africa Check, Africa’s first independent fact-checking organization.
-Viral and Corona DailyBriefing are also quality podcasts you might want to discover. Do you host or produce a podcast on Coronavirus? Do you have a podcast you want to recommend? Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This section includes a selection of publications on Coronavirus information search and coverage as well as valuable fact-checking resources from media organizations and platforms.
-A tech collaborative handbook : based on crowdsourcing, tech-savvy and journalists can collaborate together to keep everyone informed. As a journalist, you might also want to offer some help and co-write some useful tips or resources you used in your coverage.
-GIJN’s round-up : useful tips for journalists covering the COVID-19.
-European Journalism Observatory : global fact-checkers unite to verify information on COVID-19. This is a compilation of tips from AFP, AfricaCheck and IFCN’s fact-checkers.
-BBC Media Action tips for journalists covering COVID-19.
-IREX : Media programs counter disinformation about the coronavirus.
-A global alliance of fact-checkers unveiling disinformation on the virus.
.Internews : A fight for verified information.
-You might want to learn more about the impact of Coronavirus on Italian Journalism.
-Poynter: How to move beyond scary COVID-19 stories?
-Journalist’s resource : tips on covering COVID-19 by epidemiology professor.
-The Coronavirus Collection: Fact-Checking COVID-19 by snopes.com.
-ProPublica’s crowdsourcing about COVID-19 Quarantine.
-Fact-checks by the Guardian.
*The International Fact-Checking Network. Follow the#CoronaVirusFacts /#DatosCoronaVirus Alliance and read the latest fact-checks published by more than 90 fact-checkers in 40 countries and 15 languages.
-Coronavirus Topical Guide from The Associated Press.
More resources will follow as we lead more about how media organizations and newsrooms have coped with the sudden changes.
Maps & Visuals. We like visuals, you too? Then check out this impressive compilation.
- Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation dashboard (WHO)
- Coronavirus COVID-19 global cases (Johns Hopkins)
- A map from the Time.
- Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak timeline map (HealthMap)
- Novel coronavirus infection map (University of Washington)
- COVID-19 surveillance dashboard (University of Virginia)
- Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the US (CDC)
- Geographical distribution of COVID-19 cases worldwide (ECDC)
- COVID-19 coronavirus tracker (Kaiser Family Foundation)
- COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak (Worldometer)
- Coronavirus: the new disease Covid-19 explained (South China Morning Post)
- Mapping the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak (EsriStoryMaps)
Webinars and online learning platforms are a great way to keep your learning without leaving your desk. These webinars might be very helpful for your work.
The role of media in containing COVID 19 and saving lives: a webinar (The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies).
Covering Coronavirus: Expert Tips for Journalists and Communicators (National Press Club Live).
Beyond the panic : constructive stories. What about starting to help your readers move beyond the panic and get insights into the world’s battle against the pandemic in a human-centric and informative way? Here are some brilliant examples.
- AJ+’s video : Italians in Siena singing from their windows during the country’s lock down
- South African Youth Choir’s Preventing Coronavirus Through Song
- NYT: Flattening the Coronavirus Curve
- NYT: From Flattening the Curve to Social Distancing: a Coronavirus Glossary
- Positive News: Help through the letterbox: postcard campaign launched to tackle coronavirus isolation
If you have feedback, resources you want to share or recommend to our community, please get in touch with us! Open Media Hub team is reachable via our Facebook page in English, our community groups in Russian, in Arabic and in French or via our official Twitter account and do not forget to subscribe to our newsletter.