World map showing cases of COVID-19 corona virus

Webinar: The Role of Media in Covering the COVID-19 Outbreak

March 11, 2020
Internews’ Health Journalism Adviser Ida Jooste participated in a webinar to give guidance to journalists in covering the spread of the corona virus

Journalists have an important role to help to fill information gaps and counter misinformation and disinformation about the spread of disease. With the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the World Health Organization and BBC Media Action, Internews participated in a webinar to advise journalists on how to convey and help their audiences understand response efforts such as self-isolation and quarantine during the current COVID-19 outbreak, and how to prevent transmission. This will make a difference between thousands or millions of people being affected and save lives.

A total of 170 journalists from around the world attended the webinar and asked questions about how to avoid creating fear or stigmatizing affected people, dealing with rumors and disinformation, and communicating prevention measures.

“It was great to see the level of interest from journalists, and they had really thoughtful questions. As a team we are engaging with them through sharing a variety of sources and resources and by responding to specific and ongoing questions, via WhatsApp groups and other channels. This is a real indication that journalists need guidance and they are hungry for inputs. I expect this will continue for months to come.” — Ida Jooste, Internews’ Global Health Media Adviser

Watch a recording of the webinars (use the down arrow in the left-hand column to select your preferred language):

  • Session 1 (morning) in English, Spanish, and Arabic
  • Session 2 (afternoon) in English and Spanish
Screenshot from webinar shows a headline from a newspaper: "Deadly Virus Reaches Botswana"