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 September 2020:

Globe - 68

Internews provided support directly related to
COVID-19 in 68 countries.

Different languages - 135

Internews supported the production of COVID-related information in 135 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 July to September 2020, Internews supported:

980 organizations that produce COVID-19 information - 804 media outlets - 176 civil society orgs
328 media outlets on business sustainability during the pandemic

Internews’ Rapid Response Fund received and reviewed more than 1,000 applications from more than 40 countries. We disbursed more than 180 grants totaling $600,000 for work on COVID-19 information through the Rapid Response Fund in 2020.

laptop - 242

Our program teams hosted 242 webinars on COVID-19 topics by September 2020…

Hand holding cellphone - 29,041

…attended by 29,041 participants

82% of our projects pivoted activities in response to COVID-19

82% of our projects redesigned activities in response to COVID-19

Pie chart - 66%

of projects adapted in-person gatherings (conferences, forums, roundtables, etc) to an online space

pie chart - 59%

of projects adapted in-person training modules (on any topics) to deliver as distance learning

pie chart - 35%

of projects provided a learning resource of any kind (webinar, guidelines, toolkit) on COVID-19 topics

pie chart - 41%

of projects provided grants or funding to support recipients’ COVID-19 topics

pie chart - 35%

of projects provided mentoring or training on COVID-19 topics

pie chart - 12%

of projects pivoted in other ways

Data was collected internally by Internews’ Global MERL team in October 2020, representing activities conducted by approximately 87% of Internews projects in the 3rd quarter of 2020 (July 1- September 30, 2020)