Two women wearing face masks stand in the street holding newspapers
In a Dushanbe market, news outlet Vecherka distributes a special edition of the news. Credit: USAID Central Asia/Flickr

At the onset of COVID-19 as a global pandemic, Internews recognized that information providers – arguably the most vital defense to the disease – were under threat.

As journalists scrambled to cover the impact of the coronavirus, they grappled with a bitter irony: demand for information soared, but the business model funding media was in continued collapse.

Furthermore, many governments use the pandemic to justify suspending human rights, elections, and checks on their power – making the work of independent media more important than ever.

The work of Internews – to support and grow local, trusted, accurate sources of information – has never been more needed. We responded by launching new programs and redesigning existing projects to meet information needs on the ground.

A snapshot of our response through December 2020:

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Internews provided support directly related to
COVID-19 in 78 countries.

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Internews supported the production of COVID-related information in 150 languages.

Our partners in more than 100 countries include media outlets, internet freedom advocates, fact checkers, media literacy trainers, social media influencers, lawyers and technologists. From October to December 2020, Internews supported:

786 organizations that produce COVID-19 information: 638 media outlets & 148 civil society orgs. 252 media outlets on business sustainability during the pandemic.

Throughout 2020, Internews brought tools and expertise directly to our partners through online webinars and other interactive programming.

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Our program teams hosted 294 webinars on COVID-19 topics by December 2020…

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…attended by 32,623 participants


All data was collected internally by Internews’ Global Impact team. Most recent data was collected from March to May 2021, reflecting activities conducted by approximately 62% of Internews projects in Quarter 4 of 2020 (1 October – 31 December).