Update: Supporting Journalists on the Frontlines of the COVID-19 “Infodemic”

The journalists, media outlets, and information providers Internews partners with around the world continue to work tirelessly to provide reliable, context-specific information on the pandemic to their communities. Highlights from our work include:

Rapid Response Fund Awards New Projects

We’re pleased to announce new grantees of our Information Saves Lives Rapid Response Fund. The Rapid Response Fund launched in April to immediately provide support to small, local news organizations struggling to survive financially in the face of COVID-19. To date, we’ve supported roughly 80 organizations in 40 countries. The need remains overwhelming – we received more than 1,000 applications in a matter of weeks.

New grantees include SentARTE in Colombia, producing a series of podcasts and animated videos in indigenous languages, The UpTake in the US, a woman of color-led community-centered nonprofit news organization covering the impact of COVID-19 on marginalized communities in Minnesota, and Draufsicht Bamenda (Beyond the Horizon), a collaboration between young journalists and artists in Cameroon and Germany, creating instructional animated videos. Read more

Major Initiative Launched to Deliver COVID-19 Information to Hard-to-Reach Communities

Internews has launched new projects to combat disinformation and create effective information exchange between public health agencies, humanitarian organizations and communities affected by COVID-19.

With the support of the U.S. Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), a six-country project will begin in high-risk areas experiencing both humanitarian crises and COVID-19, while two new projects in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will expand access to COVID-19 information, particularly in densely populated towns, border crossings, and protection camps..

Internews’ humanitarian information strategy builds on lessons learned from previous work in health and humanitarian emergencies, including the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and DRC, the cholera outbreaks in Haiti and South Sudan, the refugee response in Greece, and the Avian Flu outbreak in southeast Asia. Read more

In Focus: Debunking Dangerous Myths about COVID-19

Before the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Central African Republic, Internews had established a fact-checking desk to prevent the dissemination of politically biased language, fake news, and rumors – and to create a media environment that promotes peaceful dialogue and reduces intercommunity tensions.

Since the outset of the pandemic, the Internews fact-checking team has turned its focus to health, collecting and debunking countless rumors swirling in the public discourse.

The Internews team has also brought together public, private and community radio stations to collaborate and share programming – the first such coordination to reach a wider audience with consistent messaging on health and hygiene. Read more

Journalist Resources on COVID-19

Our Pandemic Health Mentors are busy creating webinars and resources available to journalists all around the world. Catch the highlights and register for upcoming webinars.

ICYMI: Jeanne Bourgault’s Senate Testimony

Internews President and CEO Jeanne Bourgault called for support of media amid the pandemic in Senate testimony last month.

(Banner photo: Salwa Salle, radio journalist from Ndele (north of CAR) and member of the Internews Fact-checking Desk. Credit: Internews)