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. Get involved below.

Latest News

Cuatro Tipos de Desinformación Sobre el COVID-19

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Key Quotes: How All Journalists Can Cover the Health Beat During the COVID-19 Crisis With Thomas Abraham

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April 7, 2020

Abraham discussed the reality today for reporters who have been thrown into covering the COVID-19 pandemic, and compared what is happening now with his experience covering the SARS virus in 2003. For Abraham, the key question journalists should be answering right now is what is the human story behind health and science reporting?

Key Quotes: Frontline Lessons from International News Outlets Reporting the Pandemic With Maria Ressa, Ritu Kapur and Branko Brkic

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April 3, 2020

Facing a possible “extinction event” for independent media worldwide, journalists must work together globally to combat a triple threat of disinformation, government restrictions and economic calamity worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, three top editors said during an ICFJ webinar Friday.

Cómo abordar los ensayos clínicos en curso para la cura del COVID-19

By
April 2, 2020

¿Por qué es importante entender y analizar críticamente los ensayos clínicos en proceso para medicamentos y vacunas contra el COVID-19? La  Dra. Gabriela Minaya, médica especializada en enfermedades infecciosas y tropicales, respondió esta pregunta en un seminario online realizado en el marco del Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum de ICFJ. 

Media Sustainability During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By
April 1, 2020

As measures to contain COVID-19 spread around the world and millions of people are quarantined in their homes, reliable, fact-checked news is more important than ever. News audiences are growing in record numbers, but for many media organizations, income is falling.

Key Quotes: The Origin of COVID-19 and Self-Protection Measures With Virologist Dr. Angela Rasmussen

By
March 31, 2020

A noted virologist who has investigated threats from Ebola to SARS cautioned journalists to be wary of sources who pretend to be experts on COVID-19 since the disease was unknown to the world just a few months ago.

Key Quotes: Problematic Linkages Between COVID-19 and Migration With Sarah Pierce and Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan

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March 31, 2020

In the race to slow COVID-19, governments around the globe took aim at migration policies to keep the virus from crossing international borders, when the disease was clustered in just a handful of countries. Border closures, travel restrictions, and prohibitions on arrivals from certain areas were among leading policy responses in the early days to keep this from becoming a full-blown global pandemic. But, can they work in today’s globalized world?

Key Quotes: Are Our Health Systems Prepared for COVID-19? Q&A With Dr. Claire Standley

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March 27, 2020

Dr. Standley discussed the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on public health systems around the world and who's prepared, who's not, and who's doing the best job of responding. What have various countries failed to do in advance that they need to implement in the future to prevent pandemics like this one? What is this pandemic teaching us about preparedness?

Claves para Cubrir el Impacto de COVID-19 en la Situación de los Migrantes

By
March 27, 2020

El virus que ha ocasionado la pandemia de COVID-19 no tiene fronteras, pero los países sí. En un mundo que ha cerrado mayormente sus accesos de desplazamiento, ¿cuál es la situación de las personas que se encuentran en situación de migración en el corto, mediano, y largo plazo? ¿Qué pasa con el acceso a la salud de los migrantes indocumentados? ¿Los gobiernos aprovecharán la contingencia para aplicar políticas migratorias más restrictivas en el futuro?

#CoveringCOVID: Six Recommendations for Disinformation Combat

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March 27, 2020

All of journalism has a role to play as a bulwark against some of these Age of Disinformation effects — from news to documentary, from radio to print, from specialist to general, from legacy to start-up, from interactive to investigative. We’re all targets of disinformation agents and we all have a role in the fightback.

Key Quotes: How COVID-19 is Affecting Infants, Children and Pregnant Women With Dr. Karen Kotloff

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March 26, 2020

Dr. Kotloff said that while children infected with COVID-19 are faring better than adults in countries that have seen widespread outbreaks, it’s too soon to say whether the same will be true in countries where poverty, malnutrition and diseases like HIV and tuberculosis are more widespread. Here are highlight from the discussion.

Conceptos, Fuentes, Tratamientos y Más: Qué hay Que Entender a la Hora de Cubrir la Pandemia de COVID-19

By
March 25, 2020

Economía, política, viajes, estilo de vida. No importa la sección. Ahora todo el periodismo cubre, de una forma u otra, el impacto de la pandemia de COVID-19. Eso requiere meterse en un terreno que hasta hace poco parecía reservado solamente para el periodismo científico. Implica utilizar conceptos extraños, fuentes nuevas y datos especializados.

Key Quotes: A Talk With WHO Envoy Dr. Samba Sow of Mali on COVID-19

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March 25, 2020

Dr. Samba Sow, a WHO special envoy who helped contain the spread of Ebola in West Africa, says the key to fighting the COVID-19 virus is communication with influential local leaders as well as solutions that are adapted to individual countries and communities. 

How Journalists Can Protect Themselves While Covering the COVID-19 Pandemic

By
March 25, 2020

Journalism as a public service is vital and doesn't stop. Journalists are still covering press conferences and conducting on-the-ground reporting. How can they protect themselves from contracting the disease?

The Role of Solutions Journalism in Reporting on COVID-19

By
March 23, 2020

In the face of constantly evolving information and news about the worldwide pandemic, a solutions journalism approach is not just helpful, it’s essential, Linda Shaw, editorial director at the Solutions Journalism Network, told IJNet. 

Do's and Don'ts of Reporting on COVID-19 — from a Non-Science Background

By
March 23, 2020

As COVID-19 continues to spread, journalists around the world are working tirelessly to provide the latest news on the pandemic for their audiences. For reporters who don’t have experience covering health and science news, delivering updates on COVID-19 can be very difficult. 

How Past Health Crises Can Inform Reporting on COVID-19

By
March 20, 2020

Journalists around the world are covering a global pandemic, but it's not the first time a health crisis has gripped the journalism world. To learn from past crises, and better approach reporting on COVID-19, we reached out to Thomas Abraham, an academic and former journalist who studies the role of the media in communicating risk and infectious diseases.

A Global Crisis Like COVID-19 Calls for a Global Response. Here’s Ours.

By
March 20, 2020

We are rolling out a wide range of resources to help journalists cover this pandemic. Today, we are launching the Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum that will connect journalists with some of the world’s top health practitioners, newsroom leaders and other experts, who can answer questions in live video chats. Experts will discuss how to combat misinformation about the pandemic, report safely on COVID-19 and create compelling infographics to relay important information in new ways. 

Looking to Better Serve Your Audience Regarding COVID-19? Read These Tips.

By
March 19, 2020

Reporting on the impact of COVID-19 in your community doesn’t just require listening to trusted medical sources. Hearing from your audience is also essential to better understand what content your readers need, want or find missing from existing coverage. By doing so, your news organization can better serve your community, fight anxiety and even help your outlet in the long term. 

Everyone's a Health Reporter Now: Covering COVID-19 on Other Beats

By
March 16, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic grinds more and more countries to a halt, journalists around the world are doing just the opposite. They’re finding a second gear to cover the virus, whether it be live-tweeting personal situations, communicating the latest updates and guidance from epidemiologists, doctors and public health officials, or reporting on the ground from the crisis’ epicenters. News about the novel coronavirus is dominating print headlines, social media and broadcast news.

ICFJ Halts Program Travel and Puts in Place Remote-Work Policy

By
March 10, 2020

The safety of our staff, participants and consultants is our highest priority at the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ). That’s why I have decided to put on hold domestic and international travel until we have a more complete picture of the virus and how far it has spread. In addition, our staff will be working from home until further notice to prevent possible exposure. 

Contact Info

Stella Roque
Director of Community Engagement
healthforum@icfj.org