The ICFJ Pamela Howard Forum on Global Crisis Reporting began as the Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum, ICFJ's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It brought together almost 13,000 journalism professionals with experts – the world’s top health practitioners, policymakers, and trainers – who provided them with the skills and information to deliver meaningful COVID-19 coverage in five languages: Arabic, English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
The Forum quickly became the world’s most comprehensive effort to help journalists cover the COVID-19 crisis. In 2021, it was honored by the Online News Association with the ONA Community Award for the service it provided to global reporters during the pandemic. And it has created a community eager to help one another combat mis/disinformation, access data, and provide advice on everything from safety precautions to audience engagement.
Today, the Forum has evolved to cover the crises of the future: climate change, tech disruption, disinformation and more.
Since launching in 2020, we have:
- Served almost 13,000 journalists in 134 countries.
- Organized more than 260 webinars and trainings.
- Produced nearly 1,200 COVID-19 related resources in eight languages attracting almost half a million views on ICFJ’s International Journalists Network (IJNet), the go-to multilingual professional resource for journalists around the world.
- Awarded more than 50 journalists from around the world story contest prizes, across all five languages of our fora in a COVID-19 Reporting Contest during the pandemic.
As of 2021, we have expanded our offerings beyond medical experts to include mis/disinformation, economic issues, education and marginalized communities. We have provided training for journalists on practical skills such as health reporting, data journalism, investigative reporting and more.
IJNet has supplemented Forum programming by publishing practical, timely resources to support the critical reporting journalists are carrying out. These include recaps of Forum webinars with key quotes and takeaways for journalists to use in their reporting. Other resources include articles that highlight efforts to combat misinformation, provide advice for reporting on vaccination campaigns, and offer tips for covering sensitive issues such as human rights violations.
News media are conduits of information to their communities, increasing knowledge and holding officials accountable. Journalists are playing a critical role in providing fact-based, accurate information to the public on a scale we’ve never before experienced.
The Forum demonstrates the power of ICFJ’s active network to catalyze better-informed reporting.