The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas’ Journalism Courses program is publishing a series of briefings written by science/health journalists who have offered best practices and insights on covering COVID-19 in five different regions of the Global South: Latin America and the Caribbean, the Arab States, West Africa, Eastern Africa, and Southern Africa.
The briefings are aimed at helping journalists (and particularly those who are new to covering health and science) navigate the latest challenges in reporting on the pandemic, including countering disinformation.
These briefings are being published as part of a Knight Center initiative sponsored by UNESCO and with funding from the World Health Organization. They are an important continuation of the work that the Knight Center’s Journalism Courses program has done over the past year and a half to provide thousands of journalists from around the world with resources for covering COVID-19.
Since May 2020, we have worked with UN agencies — specifically UNESCO, the United Nations Development Programme, and the World Health Organization — to produce COVID-19 resources for journalists, including massive open online courses, self-directed courses, and webinars in 13 different languages.
We are pleased to expand our COVID-19 resource offerings with these new briefings:
- Latin America & the Caribbean briefing:“How journalists can avoid ‘the hype’ when covering COVID-19 developments in Latin America,” by Federico Kukso, an independent science journalist from Argentina who is a member of the board of directors of the World Federation of Science Journalists. This briefing is available in Spanish, Portuguese, and English.
- Arab States briefing: “Tips for covering COVID-19 issues in North Africa and the Middle East,” by Khalid Bencherif. This briefing is available in Arabic, French, English, Portuguese and Spanish.
- Southern Africa briefing: “Need and greed: Reporting on COVID-19 in Southern Africa,” by Mandi Smallhorne, a Johannesburg-based freelance science journalist who is president of the South African Science Journalists Association and vice president of the World Federation of Science Journalists. This briefing is available in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.
- West Africa briefing:“Pitfalls to avoid during the COVID-19 press conferences in West Africa,” by Kossi Elom Balao, an award-winning science journalist who is community manager of the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum in French, and president of the French-speaking African Science Journalists Network (RJSAF). This briefing is available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.
- Eastern Africa briefing: “Reporting on vaccination developments and low vaccination rates in Eastern Africa,” by Rosalia Omungo, an award-winning journalist who is chief executive officer of the Kenya Editors’ Guild. This briefing is available in English, Portuguese, and Spanish and will soon be available in French.
Additionally, here are some other multilingual COVID-19 resources available on the Knight Center’s JournalismCourses.org site:
Self-directed courses (adapted from massive open online courses)
- “Covering the COVID-19 vaccines: What journalists need to know,” available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Russian and Guarani. (April 2021)
- “Disinformation and fact-checking in times of COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean,” available in Portuguese, Spanish, and Guaraní. (March 2021)
- “Journalism in a Pandemic: Covering COVID-19 Now and in the Future,” available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. (May 2020)
- “Covering the COVID-19 vaccines: What journalists need to know,” available in Arabic, Bambara, Chinese, Dari, English, French, Guarani, Hindi, Pashto, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Wolof. (January 2021)
We are planning a second COVID-19 webinar for Thursday, January 27, 2022, from 9 a.m. to noon U.S. Central Standard Time. The webinar will be held in English, with simultaneous interpretations into Arabic, French, Portuguese and Spanish, and will feature journalists and medical experts who will offer insights on how to cover the latest COVID-19 developments. Click here to register.
This webinar is being organized by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas in partnership with UNESCO and with funding from the World Health Organization and UNESCO’s Multi-Donor Programme on Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists.
The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.
The authors are responsible for the choice and the presentation of the facts contained in this publication and for the opinions expressed therein, which are not necessarily those of UNESCO and do not commit the Organization.