Internews launched a new five-year strategy in February 2020, just a few weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic profoundly altered the entire world. Our strategy has become more relevant than ever — COVID has amplified and escalated all of the challenges that we face in our mission to build healthy information environments around the world. The solutions and strengths we bring to this work are as needed as ever.
The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly transforming the information and media systems of every society it touches. The WHO situation report described the “infodemic” surrounding the outbreak as “an over-abundance of information — some accurate and some not — that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.”
Our COVID-19 response is rooted in the knowledge that information can literally save lives. Journalists, civil society leaders and other communicators are working hard to serve as essential intermediaries between the government, public health experts and the public to stem the infodemic. But many governments are making this difficult, misleading the public, detaining and arresting those who seek to hold power to account, concealing information, and using the crisis as justification to suspend human rights, elections, and checks on their power.
Internews is ready to respond. We have a network of more than 750 active partners that we’ve been working with across five regions, in over 120 countries, for nearly 40 years in more than 100 languages. We are able to elevate local voices to the global stage, and to address global challenges at the community level.