The Global Impact of Our COVID-19 Work

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Every day, the journalists in our network are delivering high-quality coverage about the COVID-19 pandemic to their communities. They are fighting back against harmful misinformation with fact-based reporting that helps people lead healthier, better lives. 

Take Fernando Levinski with Tua Rádio in Brazil, for example. His radio network reaches thousands of people across 40 small cities in Rio Grande do Sul state, including some who rely on radio as their only source of information. In one of Levinski’s recent reports, his listeners heard from pathogens specialist Hyun Mo Yang, thanks to the ICFJ Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum. Levinski used excerpts from our Portuguese-language webinar featuring the expert, and later we connected them directly for an interview.

This is one example, among many, of how ICFJ is helping journalists around the world get the facts to the public at a time when they are urgently needed. Today more than 7,000 journalists participate in our Forum groups in five languages: Arabic, English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. We connect them with health and journalism experts through weekly webinars, and foster collaborations across borders through vibrant Facebook groups in each language.

Journalists are using what they learn to inform their reporting, as well as launching collaborations. For example:

  • An Iraqi journalist told us she drew from an investigative journalism webinar in Arabic to publish an in-depth report on the physical and psychological harassment women face in displacement camps in Iraq, especially during the pandemic.
  • A journalist in France is now collaborating with a colleague in Germany on a cross-border project about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on smokers, after connecting through our French-language Forum. 
  • Following a Spanish-language webinar on the impact of the pandemic on indigenous people, a journalist in Peru successfully pitched a story to The New Humanitarian examining misunderstandings between traditional and Western medicine, and interviewed our panelists for information and additional sources.

These are just a few of the ways that we are helping reporters in our global network better inform their audiences about life-or-death issues. Our International Journalists’ Network, www.ijnet.org, is more relevant than ever for journalists around the world, with resources on understanding complicated health issues, combatting disinformation, telling pandemic stories with multimedia and data tools, and more. More than 200,000 unique visitors a month are using the site across its eight languages, an increase of 30 percent over pre-pandemic numbers. 

In these times, it is more clear than ever what a crucial role journalists play. This year we will be honoring outstanding reporting in the COVID-19 era at our ICFJ Tribute to Journalists 2020. The online event on Oct. 5 promises to be an inspiring celebration of some of the best in our field: Fareed Zakaria of CNN and The Washington Post, Roman Anin of IStories in Russia, and Lina Attalah of Mada Masr in Egypt. Learn more here and please register to join. Don’t miss it!

Thank you for your continued support of this vital work.

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