UNESCO and RSF's Safety guide for journalists: A handbook for reporters in high-risk environments aims at providing guidelines and practical advice for all those who risk their lives to bring information to the public. The handbook includes a useful chapter on safety precautions for journalists when covering epidemics.
COVID-19: How to include marginalized and vulnerable people in risk communication and community engagement, guidelines developed by UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
- Safety Advisory for covering the coronavirus outbreak released by the Committee to Protect Journalists.
- English and Chinese-language resources for journalists covering the coronavirus epidemic, developed by the DART Center for Journalism and Trauma. This includes tips on covering disease, interviewing victims and survivors, and working with colleagues exposed to traumatic events.
- Call of UN human rights experts on States to not abuse emergency measures to suppress human rights. They urged States to avoid overreach of security measures in their response to the coronavirus outbreak and reminded them that emergency powers should not be used to quash dissent.
- Governments must promote and protect access to and free flow of information during pandemic, statement by International experts for freedom of expression and freedom of the media.
- Amnesty International statement on responses to COVID-19 and States’ human rights obligations. It examines the human rights concerns and challenges that often emerge as states respond to epidemics, and specifically to COVID-19.
UNESCO’s Handbook on understanding and countering disinformation designed for journalism education and training. Collaboratively produced by international experts, it includes tools and exercises to support disinformation literacy and countermeasures relevant to the COVID-19 ’infodemic’. (*)
UNESCO promotes media and information literacy to tackle disinformation, including the initiative “think before sharing”.
“Myth busters” for public health advice on COVID-19, produced by the World Health Organization
- YouTube has declared coronavirus a “sensitive topic”. Content related to COVID-19 which does not follow certain guidelines is demonetized or removed.
- Facebook has created a Coronavirus Information Center on top of its newsfeed. It includes real-time updates from national health authorities and global organizations such as the World Health Organization, and helpful articles, videos and posts about social distancing and preventing the spread of COVID-19.
- Whatsapp has launched a WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub to provide simple, actionable guidance for health workers, educators, community leaders, nonprofits, local governments and local businesses that rely on WhatsApp to communicate. The site also offers general tips and resources for users around the world to reduce the spread of rumors and connect with accurate health information.
- #CoronaVirus Facts Alliance launched by the International Fact-Checking Network.
- ARTICLE 19 has published a briefing on how states, the media and social media companies can help to combat COVID-19 (coronavirus) by committing to transparency, tackling misinformation and promoting authoritative health advice.
- The EU DisinfoLab makes available useful resources on the impact of Coronavirus crisis on disinformation. These resources are a non-exhaustive: e.g. common narratives and strategies of disinformation observed, measures taken to counter this disinformation and other initiatives.
UNESCO syllabus on science and health journalism, included in its model curricula on journalism education. (*)
Press councils in South East Europe have called for professional reporting on COVID-19; an action welcomed by UNESCO. (*)
- The International Federation of Journalists has urged media to report professionally on COVID-19 to “avoid creating unjustified panic that could worsen the situation.”
- BBC Media Action - 10 tips for media in the COVID-19 ‘info-demic’.
- BBC Media Action - guide for media on communicating in public health emergencies. This was prepared for the International Federation of the Red Cross during the Ebola crisis, and contains practical tips for media practitioners on how to help audiences during health emergencies.
- Public Media Alliance - list of vital resources, sources, public media content and best practices for the public, journalists and media workers.
- Global Investigative Journalism Network examples of data journalism related to “social distancing simulations, coronavirus cluster research, and flattening the COVID-19 curve.”
- First Draft resource hub for reporting on coronavirus. It includes resources such as newsgathering and verification tools, ethics and responsible reporting guidance, and a database of debunks of mis- and disinformation.
- The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) has launched a Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum which includes an interactive, multilingual hub for thousands of journalists from around the world to: aid informed, ethical reporting through direct access to credible sources of scientific and medical expertise; facilitate knowledge sharing and collaborative reporting projects in reference to Covid-19.
- UNESCO promotes the right to access information, recognized in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Sustainable Development Goal 16.10) (*).
- UNESCO and the global Open Educational Resources community identify, share and support the development of distance-learning resources concerning COVID-19 in different languages, and disseminate them through institutional and governmental frameworks (*).
- UNESCO advocates for openly licensed scientific knowledge. It is necessary for publishers to make information in the relevant scientific fields available in both human and machine-readable formats.
- The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, co-led by UNESCO and International Telecommunication Union, promotes affordable connectivity to internet. This is essential to maintain health, social, educational, political and economic processes, especially during in emergencies. The Commission will produce a report on freedom of expression and disinformation, which will also address COVID-19, during fall 2020 (*).
- On-demand content platforms and public libraries, such as the World Digital Library, are offering free or cheaper packages for access to online cultural and educational content.
- Novel Coronavirus Information Center by publisher Elsevier, provides expert and curated information for the research and health community. Resources are free to access and include guidelines for clinicians and patients.
Corona Virus Media Watch launched by the International Research Centre on Artificial Intelligence in Slovenia, category 2 centre under the auspices of UNESCO. It provides global and national news updates based on a selection of media entities with open online news. Policymakers, media and the public can observe emerging trends related to COVID-19 in their country and the world.
- To ensure access to information, Access Now has urged governments across the globe to ensure free, open and secure internet access.
- Artists, athletes and creative and entertainment industries have mobilized to promote live streamed theatre plays, DJ sets, and performances, usually connected to philanthropic initiatives, through digital technologies.