ICFJ, Facebook Initiative to Boost COVID-19 Coverage Across Four Regions

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The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and the Facebook Journalism Project (FJP) are partnering to help newsrooms in regions that need it most to accelerate their digital transformation and enhance video storytelling in the COVID-19 era. The goal is to bolster the ability of news outlets to provide communities around the world with underreported, high-quality news on the COVID-19 pandemic. 

These wide-ranging projects target journalists in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Asia:
 

  • In the Middle East and North Africa, the program is providing journalists with training, mentorship and reporting grants so that they can surface underreported stories on COVID-19 from refugee camps across the region. It kicks off with an intensive, month-long training for 120 journalists, and includes production of an Arabic-language reporting toolkit to help journalists in the region produce high-quality reporting on refugees, one of the most vulnerable communities hurt by the virus. (Applications are now open.) In addition, our Social Media Solutions program now offers COVID-19 reporting grants and helps journalists with verification, security, engagement and storytelling in their coverage of the pandemic.
     
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, we will train 10,000 reporters to use videos in their coverage of COVID-19. The program includes 12 skills-building webinars, hands-on mentorship from experts, reporting awards and a comprehensive video reporting toolkit. In South Africa, the partnership also will provide publishers with $140,000 in core support.
     
  • In Latin America, ICFJ and FJP are expanding our work together with the creation of a $2 million fund that will offer grants, mentoring and training. The goal is to help news organizations accelerate their digital transformation and meet immediate, essential business needs. Grants can be used for a variety of initiatives, from launching newsletters and lifting paywalls to buying personal protection equipment to keep reporters safe.
     
  • In the Asia-Pacific region, we are offering a webinar series and expert mentorship to help publishers navigate the challenges associated with COVID-19. It builds on FJP and ICFJ’s successful APAC Video Accelerator program for 13 newsrooms across Southeast Asia and Hong Kong in 2019. ICFJ is also helping deliver relief funding to news publishers across the region and is helping extend the Facebook Accelerator program here as well.


“In these underserved regions, we are funneling resources and training to journalists who can then provide life-saving coverage about COVID-19,” said Sharon Moshavi, ICFJ’s senior vice president of new initiatives. “At a time when high quality journalism is paramount, their work will bring to light the plight of the most vulnerable, engage audiences with compelling video storytelling and more.”

“In line with Facebook’s commitment to ensure that people can access timely and accurate information about the COVID-19 pandemic, the Facebook Journalism Project is happy to work with ICFJ to alleviate the impact of the novel coronavirus and reinforce high-quality journalism,” said Fares Akkad, Facebook’s Director of Media Partnerships for Growth Countries. 

 

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