Covering COVID-19: Resources for Journalists

So many journalists in ICFJ’s vast network and beyond are debunking misinformation and providing lifesaving coverage on the COVID-19 pandemic. We are proud of the work that reporters worldwide are doing, and are working to help however we can. Our Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum, in partnership with ICFJ's International Journalists' Network (IJNet), is a new initiative that aims to do just that.

As part of our Forum project, available in five languages, you can learn from health professionals and other experts, through a series of webinars on everything from health disinformation to newsroom leadership to the latest research on the disease. You can find new resources on covering COVID-19 on IJNet, the go-to site for journalism tips, trends and opportunities, in eight languages. You can collaborate with other journalists from across the world on the Forum's vibrant Facebook group - already several thousand members strong. And you can explore cutting-edge research on journalism and COVID-19 being conducted by ICFJ. See our impact here. Get involved below.

Latest News

Reporting on Omicron? Here's What to Know.

January 8, 2022

As COVID-19 variants continue to emerge, it is crucial that journalists keep their readers informed with the most current, accurate information to help them make vital decisions.

The omicron variant, which surfaced in late 2021, is different from others in that there is still a lot we do not know about it, said Peter van Heusden, a bioinformatician at the South African National Bioinformatics Institute, during a recent ICFJ Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum webinar.

Hunting for Job Opportunities? Here are Some Tips.

December 6, 2021

Finding job opportunities can be a daunting task for media professionals, especially recent graduates and freelancers who may not know where to look. 

However, career openings for journalists “are everywhere, ubiquitous, and cosmopolitan,” said Paul Adepoju, the ICFJ Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum community manager.

Learning how to spot job opportunities and hunting them down is what catapulted Adepoju to be the journalist he is today, with bylines in news outlets like Business InsiderNatureThe LancetNew ScientistBMJQuartz and CNN

Women in Journalism: Insights from India and Nigeria

December 1, 2021

Women journalists face a unique set of obstacles on the job, especially when reporting in conflict zones and hostile environments. Their physical and mental safety can be at heightened risk, and often news outlets don’t do enough to support.

Teresa Rehman, an award-winning print journalist and author based in northeast India, and  broadcast journalist, Amaka Okoye, who focuses on conflict and crisis reporting in Nigeria, shed light on their own reporting experiences as women during a recent ICFJ Global Health Reporting Forum webinar. 

How to Make Solutions Journalism a Part of a News Outlet’s DNA

November 17, 2021

When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Nigeria in February 2020, Nigeria Health Watch quickly adapted its coverage to focus on the global crisis. In place of traditional reporting on facts and figures, however, this health advocacy and communications nonprofit used a novel, growing approach known as solutions journalism. Their reporting addressed the effects of the pandemic on Nigerians, and how communities were responding with their own, often innovative solutions.

How Journalists Can Best Report on Mental Health and Suicide

November 8, 2021

The World Health Organization estimates that suicide is the cause of more than 700,000 deaths annually. Of these, over three in four occur in low- and middle-income countries. 

Tips for Reporting on Vaccines, Hesitancy and Misinformation

October 15, 2021

The distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in many parts of the world has given people hope that we may finally be nearing the pandemic’s end. There have been, however, mixed reactions to the immunizations, influenced by an abundance of misinformation.

Tips to Help Journalists Protect Themselves Online

October 1, 2021

In today’s digital world, safety isn’t just a physical concern for journalists. Increasingly, emails, social media accounts and sources are at risk from bad actors operating on the internet. 

During a recent ICFJ Health Crisis Reporting Forum webinar, Harlo Holmes, chief information officer and director of digital security at the Freedom of the Press Foundation, offered key tips that journalists can follow to protect themselves digitally.

ICFJ Team Wins Community Award from Online News Association for Forum Providing Resources, Support to Reporters Covering COVID-19

September 23, 2021

The Online News Association (ONA) today honored the team behind the ICFJ Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum with its 2021 Community Award. The award recognizes Stella Roque, director of community engagement, and community managers Paul Adepoju, Kossi Balao, Desirée Esquivel, Fadwa Kamal and Alexandre Orrico for developing a comprehensive program that supports journalists covering the COVID-19 pandemic.

What to Know When Reporting on the Delta Variant

August 12, 2021

The global fight against COVID-19 is far from over. As the pandemic continues, the delta variant presents a new wave of challenges and further emphasizes the importance of redoubling efforts to combat the virus. 

If you are reporting on this more contagious variant’s impact on people around the world, Peter van Heusden, a bioinformatician at the South African National Bioinformatics Institute (SANBI), has some key suggestions for you. He spoke at a recent webinar hosted by the International Center for Journalists, titled “Reporting on the delta variant.”

Reporting on COVID-19 in Hard-Hit India

August 9, 2021

Despite the pressures that have accompanied reporting during the pandemic, journalists continue to produce important stories that keep the public informed. There remains, however, a critical need to implement structures and systems in India to protect journalists and enable them to do their jobs well, urged journalist Annie Philip, a member of the Network of Women in Media, India

Crafting a Winning Pitch to Attract Funding

July 29, 2021

Crafting a successful funding proposal is a challenge for journalists around the world. Competition can be tough, so it’s important to find ways to make your pitch stand out.

Across two webinars, ICFJ Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum Community Manager Paul Adepoju, spoke with representatives of funding organizations, as well as journalists who have successfully received grant funding in the past, offering valuable insights into how journalists can secure financial support for their reporting projects.

Key Takeaways for Covering Obesity During COVID-19

May 12, 2021

People with obesity are suffering more and dying at higher rates from COVID-19, according to a report released by the World Obesity Federation in March. This makes obesity a high-risk factor, similar to other comorbidities such as diabetes and heart disease. 

Tips for Reporting on Migration During the Pandemic

April 6, 2021

COVID-19 has resulted in devastating economic and health consequences for many people around the world — and especially the most vulnerable. 

Key Quotes: Understanding How COVID-19 Vaccines Work

March 26, 2021

A year after COVID-19 was declared a national emergency, vaccines have finally arrived, with the U.S. averaging 2 million vaccine doses administered per day. But the arrival of vaccines also brings an explosion of information — some of it untrue. Dr. Galit Alter, a professor of medicine and a group leader at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, spoke with Patrick Butler, ICFJ’s Vice President of Content and Community, about vaccines.

Equity in Vaccine Access and Distribution: Key Takeaways

February 19, 2021

As countries around the world roll out COVID-19 vaccination campaigns, equitable access to the vaccines is an issue front and center. 

Journalists in ICFJ Network Honored for Pandemic Coverage in Five Languages

February 5, 2021

The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) is honoring more than 50 journalists for COVID-19 reporting in five languages. Their coverage has explained complicated science, revealed pandemic-related corruption and exposed inequalities that have harmed society’s most vulnerable.

Lessons for Reporting on COVID-19 Variants

February 1, 2021

As governments around the world roll out COVID-19 vaccination campaigns, new strains of the virus have fueled growing concerns among experts. 

A Year of #CoveringCOVID: Highlights from the Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum

December 23, 2020

We’ve had by far one of the most unexpected and challenging years in history with a global pandemic, and one that’s hit an already struggling journalism industry hard. Despite these challenges, journalists from around the world came together in the ICFJ Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum to learn from medical experts, epidemiologists, veteran health reporters, fact-checkers and each other to cover what is likely to be the story of the century, a 21st-century pandemic.

Key Quotes: Newsroom Management During a Pandemic

December 23, 2020

Newsroom management can be a balancing act between people and content, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made finding that balance even more difficult. During a recent IJNet/ICFJ Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum webinar AJ+ Supervising Executive Producer Jon Laurence acknowledged the difficult balance and shared ways he and his team have tried to adapt. 

COVID-19 Reporting Has Prepared Us for Cross-Border Collaboration

December 17, 2020

The biggest story of 2020 — probably the biggest story of our lifetimes — was a global one, and covering it effectively required global collaboration among journalists and news organizations.

Tips For Podcasting During a Pandemic

December 16, 2020

With accessible technology and social tools available to anyone, media is no longer exclusive to journalists and journalism-adjacent careers. With just a few cheap — or even free — tools, anyone can create a podcast. The challenge becomes creating compelling content that the audience actually wants. 

Covering Climate Change in 2021 and Beyond

November 30, 2020

2020 is on track to become the planet’s hottest on record. Experts say the climate crisis could erase the progress made in human health over the past century, and the communities hit hardest by climate change are among the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Essential Data Journalism Tips and Resources

November 19, 2020

Communicating data can feel like an overwhelming task. As journalists, how can we translate extensive numbers-based research and analysis into coherent, comprehensible reporting? 

Data journalists have honed this skill set. They’ve refined how to best present data-related findings to most effectively inform their readers. 

Behind the Scenes: Reporters Who Exposed Europe's COVID-19 Spending

November 11, 2020

For many businesses, the novel coronavirus pandemic has been devastating. For some, however, the global health crisis presented an opportunity to make major profit. Since the severity of the virus became clear in early 2020, federal and local governments have spent millions of dollars purchasing items like personal protective equipment. 

Key Quotes: The Pandemic's Effects on Journalism

November 4, 2020

In early October, IJNet’s parent organization, the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University released the preliminary findings of their English-language survey aimed at understanding the pandemic’s effects on journalists and newsrooms. The survey received 1,406 responses from respondents in 125 countries.

Asked and Answered: Your Questions about ICFJ Programs and More

November 3, 2020

“Over 36 years, ICFJ has provided more than 150,000 journalists from 180 countries with valuable programs and resources,” said ICFJ President Joyce Barnathan at our Tribute for Journalists 2020. But what are the programs, fellowships, global exchanges and awards available now? And what can journalists do to become part of the ICFJ network? 

Key Quotes: COVID-19 in 2021 — What Can We Expect?

October 22, 2020

Seven months into the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still unclear when life might return to some semblance of normal.

Combating COVID-19 in Italy: Key Takeaways

October 8, 2020

In Italy, COVID-19 has infected more than 333,940 people and claimed the lives of 36,061 people. In March, the country was the epicenter of the pandemic.

In response,the government implemented a stringent lockdown restricting the movement of its citizens. As the pandemic’s second wave hits the country, the government is considering extending the state of emergency until January 2021. 

Armenia's Ani Mejlumyan Battles Media Restrictions to Report the Pandemic

September 22, 2020

Investigative journalist Ani Mejlumyan recalls the onset of COVID-19. The day after Armenia declared a state of emergency in mid-March, the government censored the media to prevent them from reporting on the pandemic. Restaurants, meanwhile, remained open for ten more days. 

Key Quotes: Combating COVID-19 in Germany

September 21, 2020

As COVID-19 spread across Europe, countries like France, Italy, Spain and the U.K. faced high rates of cases, hospitalizations and deaths due to the virus. Germany, meanwhile, eluded similar levels of transmission and suffering among its citizens.

Key Quotes: Convicts, Organized Crime & COVID-19 - Going Undercover for the Story

September 9, 2020

As the world focuses on combating the novel coronavirus, some governments are making it even more difficult for journalists to write about the impact of the global pandemic. In Romania, where the government severely limited access to public information, two investigative journalists went undercover to track the country’s supply of dysfunctional masks. The two journalists, Ana Poenariu and Andrei Ciurcanu, spoke with ICFJ Director of Community Engagement Stella Roque to explain how they went undercover to carry out their reporting. 

Key Quotes: Pandemic Profiteers — Trends in Crime and Corruption During COVID-19

August 27, 2020

As the public remains focused on the global health crisis, pandemic profiteers are expanding their reach by whatever means necessary, journalists investigating crime and corruption across the globe said in an ICFJ webinar. 

Key Quotes: COVID-19 and Education — What's the Future of School?

August 26, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on the last school year for many students around the world. Now, experts are looking ahead to how ongoing outbreaks will affect education in both the near and distant future. 

Covering the Pandemic's Impact on Haiti's Deaf Community

August 26, 2020

Haitian journalist Milo Milfort's mantra is to never accept authorities' words as the undeniable truth before questioning them. He is an active participant in the Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum, a project of the International Journalists’ Network and their parent organization, International Center for Journalists. He is the author of an article about the impact of the pandemic and mask wearing on Haiti's deaf population, which was chosen as one of the Forum’s top stories in its monthly story contest.

How Taiwan Rewrote Its Pandemic Playbook and Kept its COVID-19 Cases Below 500

August 21, 2020

The chief of Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control credited the centralized response to contagious diseases that the island democracy developed in the wake of the 2003 SARS outbreak with containing the spread of the novel coronavirus this year to fewer than 500 people in its population of nearly 24 million. 

Case Studies in COVID-19 Responses: Taiwan's Success Story

August 17, 2020

Join ICFJ and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) for a Q&A with the Director-General of the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control, Dr. Jih-haw Chou, moderated by ICFJ President Joyce Barnathan. 

How to Counter Disinformation and Misinformation about COVID-19 Vaccines

August 13, 2020

To fight false information about potential COVID-19 vaccines, newsrooms must place collaboration ahead of competition, fact-checking experts said during a panel discussion this week produced by ICFJ and the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN).

ICFJ Knight Fellow Creates New App to Help Journalists Connect with Scientists 

August 6, 2020

Reporters covering scientific topics such as the COVID-19 pandemic sometimes struggle to find the right sources. Meanwhile, many of the scientists sharing valuable insights on social media lack a wide audience. A new digital tool developed in Brazil aims to bring these two groups together.

How to Promote Diversity in Coverage and in the Newsroom

July 30, 2020

“You have a television station. We have these AK-47s. We will have to tell our stories with these guns,” members of an indigenous community who had joined Maoist forces told journalist Shubhranshu Choudhary. “Your media will not give us any space.”

Key Quotes: Six Months Later — Results of the Evolving COVID-19 Public Health Response

July 28, 2020

Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the successful public health interventions around the world have been the result of international cooperation, said Dr. Claire Standley.

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