Story telling: Addressing denial, mistrust and the perception that COVID-19 is not real

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm UTC

So far, Africa has been less affected by COVID-19 than other parts of the world, with a lower number of cases and deaths than Europe and the US. However, this is leading people to believe COVID-19 is not real, or that it cannot affect them, because they do not see sick people in their community or in the media. Comments such as “We don’t see people dying of COVID-19, is this COVID-19 real?” or “The virus is a disease of the rich, it only affects the white people” are common in feedback collected by humanitarian agencies in East and Southern Africa. The media plays a critical role in changing this dangerous belief. Through their reporting and by sharing the stories of real people who have had the virus, journalists can help ensure people take this virus seriously and follow measures to stop the spread of infection, and so help end this outbreak in Africa.

In this webinar, organised by Internews and the East and Southern Africa interagency working group for risk communication and community engagement, we will present the key findings from community feedback, explain the case and fatality rate in Africa, and discuss how journalists can play a key role in stopping this outbreak through storytelling approaches. Speakers include:

  • IFRC: Community beliefs about COVID-19 and the impact this has on behaviour
  • WHO: COVID-19 case and fatality rates in Africa and predictions for the future
  • Kate Thomas and Frederick Alinabo – Internews: the art of storytelling
  • Seth Olale Kenya’s NTV: our experience of telling the story of COVID-19 patients and health workers.

Frédéric Alinabo Namegabe is a Journalist Trainer working as a consultant for Internews in Narrative Journalism.

Kate Thomas is a qualitative global health researcher, oral historian of epidemics, narrative medicine practitioner, and writer.

Jul 23, 2020 04:00 PM in Nairobi (GMT+3)


Free event