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, 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 seven 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. Get involved below.

Latest News

Ethical Considerations for Reporting on COVID-19

By
May 28, 2020

Since the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic, more and more journalists around the world have been pulled in to report on the frontlines of the global crisis. 

How Can Journalism Create a Path to Recovery from COVID-19?

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May 26, 2020

Collaborating with communities and rethinking business models are among the key steps journalists and newsrooms should take as they struggle to persist in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, three top editors said.

Holding Beijing to Account for COVID-19 Will Not Get Easier, Hong Kong Reporter Says

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May 23, 2020

Reporting from China has long been a challenge, but with the country at the epicenter of a global pandemic, information control and censorship appear to be on the rise, said South China Morning Post reporter Linda Lew.

Key Quotes: How to Ask the Hard Questions When Covering COVID-19

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May 20, 2020

“Every interview—whether it’s with a victim of COVID-19 or the president of your country—is a fight for control,” said Julian Sher, a veteran TV documentary writer and director, during an ICFJ webinar Tuesday.

If the U.S. Isn’t Prepared for Safely Reopening for Business, What Does it Say About the Global South? 

By
May 15, 2020

As many communities move from urging people to stay at home to opening for business, the U.S., one of the world’s wealthiest countries, is not prepared to meet the challenge, an economist and an epidemiologist said during an ICFJ webinar Thursday. “When the United States is handling this relatively poorly, you look at other countries that are less affluent than we are, and definitely have concern for them,” said Tara Smith, an epidemiology professor at Kent State University.

ICFJ Knight Fellows Play a Leading Role in Promoting Top-Notch Coverage of COVID-19

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May 14, 2020

With COVID-19 dominating the news and crippling communities across the world, we at ICFJ are doing everything we can to help journalists provide information that can mean the difference between life and death. I want to highlight how our ICFJ Knight Fellows are leading the way. They are providing resources from webinars with regional experts to journalism safety tips to business strategies to bolster the bottom line. 

Key Quotes: Media Sustainability During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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May 14, 2020

Before the arrival of COVID-19, the state of the news industry was already precarious: revenues were down and news organizations were folding. Across the world, news deserts have become more commonplace.

Journalism’s ‘Extinction Event?' ICFJ and Tow Center Launch Global COVID-19 Survey to Aid the Recovery

By
May 13, 2020

The effects of COVID-19 are already being framed as an “extinction event”  for journalism, causing dozens of news outlets to collapse around the world. Tens of thousands of newsroom jobs have been lost or reshaped by the pandemic. 

Leading and Supporting a Team During Times of Crisis

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May 12, 2020

Being a team leader is a challenge in any context, and the difficulties of managing a team are exacerbated in times of global crisis and isolation, like during the current COVID-19 pandemic. On top of needing to navigate new limitations, leaders also have to take precautions, like working remotely.  

Sweden’s Top Epidemiologist Challenges Conventional Wisdom on COVID-19

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May 9, 2020

Sweden’s chief epidemiologist challenged a wide array of public health practices — from wearing masks in public to keeping young children home from school — that countries are using in the fight against COVID-19, in an interview with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) Friday.

Key Quotes: How I Survived COVID-19

By
May 7, 2020

Journalists are on the front lines of the pandemic, sometimes risking their health to provide up-to-date information to the public. When reporters themselves contract the novel coronavirus, it takes a toll, physically and emotionally, three reporters who have lived through it said Wednesday in an ICFJ webinar. 

#CoveringCOVID: At a Critical Time for News, Reporters Persist Despite Growing Risks to Press Freedom

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May 5, 2020

At a time when citizens need fact-based, trustworthy information to survive the global pandemic, reporters face mounting threats as they report on the crisis, three distinguished journalists said during a panel discussion Monday. 

Impact-Driven Journalism Brings Critical COVID-19 News to Rural India

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May 5, 2020

The people of Hardauli village in Madhya Pradesh, India, were frightened. On March 30, one week after the Indian government announced a three-week nationwide lockdown, six families returned from the city of Pune, a COVID-19 hotspot. Some migrants were coughing, and despite government orders that returning migrants exhibiting symptoms should be tested, the returnees refused to go to health authorities. 

Reporting the COVID-19 Pandemic's Ever-Changing Facts

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May 5, 2020

We are living in a reality seemingly pulled from a dystopian science fiction novel. Now, people are scared and looking for answers. With much still unknown about COVID-19, these answers often aren’t readily available. Meanwhile, data and expert advisories change frequently. 

I spoke to journalists from Vox, Mother Jones and The New York Times about how they report the ever-changing facts of the pandemic.

How to Cover the Economic Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic for a Local Audience

By
May 4, 2020

In Rick Dunham’s 35 years as a reporter, including 15 years at Business Week, no previous economic story has compared to the current global economic crisis. Fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is the “biggest economic story of our careers,” he said in a webinar Friday.

Gates Foundation Expert Optimistic about COVID-19 Vaccine Development

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April 30, 2020

Dr. Lynda Stuart, a leading vaccine expert at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said she is optimistic that a COVID-19 vaccine could be available as soon as 14 months from now. At that time, the vaccine would likely go to healthcare workers, the elderly and people who are considered most vulnerable.

Key Quotes from #PROTOCall: How Muddled Science Drives Misinformation

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April 28, 2020

Finding dependable primary sources of information can help journalists better report on complicated and technical subjects such as COVID-19, said science communicator Shruti Muralidhar at a PROTOCall webinar last Thursday. 

Key Quotes: Journalists’ Safety on the Frontline of #COVID19

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April 24, 2020

Newsroom managers overseeing COVID-19 coverage “need to become trauma literate,” said Cait McMahon, founding managing director of the Dart Centre Asia Pacific in Melbourne, during a webinar Friday as part of ICFJ’s Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum.

Key Quotes: Combating the Infodemic Surrounding COVID-19

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April 23, 2020

Reporters and news organizations should engage the public in debunking information in their own networks, said Andy Carvin, senior fellow at the Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab), during an ICFJ webinar Thursday. 

Key Quotes from #PROTOCall: How to Chase the Gaps in COVID-19 Data

By
April 23, 2020

Finding accurate and reliable data on the spread of COVID-19 has been at the center of every journalist’s effort in covering the pandemic and its resulting societal impacts. But what can reporters do when faced with scarce or incomplete data sources? 

Cuatro Tipos de Desinformación Sobre el COVID-19

By
April 22, 2020

Cuando llegaron los primeros casos de COVID-19 a América Latina, los chequeadores de datos de la región ya sabían que los países no iban a enfrentarse solamente a una enfermedad de la que ya hay centenares de miles de casos en todo el mundo. Con los ejemplos de China, Europa y Estados Unidos como antecedentes, anticiparon que, junto con el coronavirus, llegaría otra preocupación viral: publicaciones falsas o malintencionadas.

Key Quotes: A Story of Uncertainty: How to Deal with COVID-19 and Data

By
April 22, 2020

When reporting on the global pandemic, where can reporters find the exact figures for the number of people who are infected with COVID-19?

How Journalists are Documenting Loss During COVID-19

By
April 20, 2020

More than 120,000 people around the world have died of COVID-19 as of the writing of this piece. Journalists aren’t just working overtime to keep up with the pace of new information, regulations and implications of the myriad effects of the pandemic — they are grappling with how to document the losses many communities are grieving. 

Key Quotes: The Stark Contrast in Reporting Epidemics in South Africa with Journalist Mia Malan

By
April 17, 2020

South Africa provides a stark comparison of the government’s reaction to two deadly epidemics — HIV/AIDS and COVID-19, Mia Malan, a veteran journalist who covered both outbreaks, said in an ICFJ webinar on Thursday. In the case of HIV, government officials had an extremely hostile relationship with the news media, she said. With COVID-19, Malan said South Africa’s government did an about face.

#CoveringCOVID: Uncharted Territory for Freelance Photojournalists

By
April 17, 2020

Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, photojournalists around the world already faced challenging working conditions. Job security was waning, pay was minimal and a majority felt physically unsafe at least sometimes while on the job, according to a 2018 report by World Press Photo. The current health crisis has only magnified these challenges.

Key Quotes from #PROTOCall: How to Protect Your Physical and Mental Health While #CoveringCovid

By
April 17, 2020

India is currently in the midst of a 21-day nationwide lockdown ordered on March 24 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Journalists, who remain exempt from the lockdown, are on the frontlines covering the COVID-19 pandemic, sometimes with little or no gear to protect themselves from infection. A panel of experts delved into how reporters can stay safe while covering the pandemic.

Key Quotes from #PROTOCall: What (Not) to Say While Covering a Pandemic

By
April 16, 2020

Reporting on COVID-19 can be  tricky because of the medical and technical jargon that is inevitably involved. If you’re not a seasoned health or science journalist with a deep understanding of these terms, you run the risk of using them incorrectly, which could cause confusion at best and trigger a barrage of misinformation and fake news at worst.

Key Tips for Getting High-Quality COVID-19 Footage While Working From Home

By
April 16, 2020

Yusuf and Sumaiya Omar have trained communities around the world to create their own video storytelling projects through Hashtag Our Stories, a cross-platform video publishing company the couple founded. Now, with COVID-19, the ability to harness the power of user-generated video content is becoming essential for journalists all over the world, they said in an ICFJ webinar on Wednesday. 

Key Quotes: Self-Care on the Frontline - What Would a Responsible Journalist Do? Q&A With Veteran Reporter Elaine Monaghan

By
April 15, 2020

In this unprecedented time, taking care of your well-being isn’t selfish — it’s essential, said veteran reporter and journalism educator Elaine Monaghan during a webinar Tuesday with Patrick Butler, ICFJ’s Vice President for Content and Community, as part of ICFJ’s Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum.

COVID-19 Resources Now Available in French, Spanish and Portuguese

By
April 15, 2020

A month ago we formed the Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum to help journalists provide accurate, life-saving information on the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, we are significantly expanding our offerings: 

Cómo abordar la salud mental en tiempos de pandemia

By
April 14, 2020

En un reciente seminario online realizado en el marco del Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum de ICFJ, el psicólogo Jorge Bruce −miembro de la International Psychoanalytical Association   explicó de qué forma la pandemia de COVID-19 y las medidas para mitigar su propagación afectan la salud mental de las personas, por qué los periodistas están especialmente expuestos y cómo podemos informar sobre algunos de los problemas relacionados con esta causa.

Resources for African journalists covering COVID-19

By
April 14, 2020

Cases of COVID-19 are rising in Africa, after the continent was initially spared of the pandemic in its early days. So far, 53 countries have reported cases of the disease, and governments continue to roll out measures to halt the spread. Media organizations on the continent are also ramping up their coverage. Here are some reporting resources that can help journalists on the continent cover the pandemic.

¿Cómo bucear en los datos para acceder a evidencia científica de calidad?

By
April 13, 2020

En un seminario online realizado en el marco del Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum de ICFJ, el Dr. Gabriel Rada − fundador de la Fundación Epistemonikos y director de Cochrane Chile y del Centro de Evidencia de la Universidad Católica de Chile − explicó de qué forma se puede comprender la calidad de la evidencia científica y cómo informar con rigor al respecto, sin caer en anuncios apresurados ni tergiversar datos científicos.

How to Report on Climate Change During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By
April 13, 2020

The year 2020 was tipped as a super-year for the environment, one with a packed line-up of key political meetings and developments around biodiversity, climate change and oceans. Now, as political momentum and people’s priorities have shifted to responding to COVID-19, journalists should consider where and how to cover that other existential threat we are facing: the climate crisis. 

Key Quotes: Media Freedom Threats and COVID-19 With UN Special Rapporteur David Kaye and CPJ’s Courtney Radsch

By
April 10, 2020

Journalists and advocates cannot afford to wait until the COVID-19 crisis slows to address the growing restrictions on media freedom cropping up around the world, media freedom experts said during an ICFJ webinar Thursday. 

How is COVID-19 Transforming Journalism? Our Global Study Will Find Out

By
April 9, 2020

The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism are launching a joint study on the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for journalism. This collaborative global research project aims to map the impact of the crisis on journalism and how journalists are responding to it. 

Mental Health Tips and Resources for Journalists

By
April 8, 2020

Journalists are often on the frontlines of some of the world’s most challenging events, from crime scenes and road accidents to natural disasters and wars. Now, journalists around the world are working overtime to cover the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Don’t Just Debunk Misinformation: 4 Tips for Navigating the COVID-19 Infodemic

By
April 8, 2020

As the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus began to spread more rapidly around the world in February, the World Health Organization (WHO) deployed the term ‘infodemic’ to describe the information and misinformation circulating alongside it. Many rumors, myths and falsehoods have made the rounds — and still are — covering anything from ‘cures,’ to mandatory quarantines, to conspiracy theories about the virus’ origin. 

Covering COVID-19: Concepts, Sources, Treatments and More With Valeria Román

By
April 8, 2020

Business, politics, travel, lifestyle: no matter the beat, most journalists are now reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic. In this article, we’ve compiled tips from Argentinian science journalist Valeria Román to help journalists report effectively during this crisis. She shared her advice with us during a Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum webinar last week.

Key Quotes: Doctors and Journalists in Asia Collaborate to Fact Check COVID-19 Myths

By
April 8, 2020

Journalists should watch out for misinformation about vaccines and fake treatments for COVID-19 because misleading the public can lead to deaths, say two fact-checking experts who collaborate to debunk health myths in Asia.

Contact Info

Stella Roque
Director of Community Engagement
healthforum@icfj.org