How to communicate on COVID 19 crisis - Webinar

The COVID-19 outbreak is a global public health crisis, but unfortunately its impact goes much beyond the health dimension. From the very beginning, UN Secretary General, M. Antonio Guterres, has denounces the "massive infodemic" of disinformation and misinformation swirling amdst the COVID-19 pandemic as a driver of the crisis itself. The COVID-19 oubtreak has exposed fragilities in societies and economies across the globe. The di-infodemic is deepening those fissures in societies and economy worldwide.


Against this backdrop, and since the outbreak of the pandemic, UN and UNESCO scaled up efforts to counter the growing surge of misinformation that is impeding access to trustworthy sources and reliable information.  


UNESCO embarked on a series of initiatives aimed at working for truth and combating fake news. A social media campaign countering fake news and their negative impact on social cohesion and stability entitled, “Count till 10 before sharing unverified news”, was launched. Moreover a global media campaign took place on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, under the theme “Journalism without fear or favour”, focusing on the particular importance of independent journalism during the current COVID-19 pandemic.


As part of this global effort and to counter the spread of misinformation in Qatar, UNESCO GCC and Yemen office partnered with the Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Al Jazeera Media Institute (AJMI), as the leading journalism knowledge and training center in Qatar, to organize a training webinar on “How to communicate on COVID 19 crisis” for journalists.


The capacity-building webinar, divided into three sessions, took place on August 19, 2020 and provided the journalists with a comprehensive set of skills to cover the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe way and tackle the spread of misinformation in Qatar.

UNESCO Representative for the GCC and Yemen, Anna Paolini, opening the workshop highlighted that since the beginning of the crisis, journalists are putting themselves at risk to cover the news by working on the field.  Protecting their safety and equipping them with the necessary tools to counter the dis-infodemic during COVID-19 outbreak is paramount.

The manager of Media Initiatives at Al Jazeera Media Institute spoke about the gap that the Covid-19 epidemic revealed in the field of scientific journalism and information verification. He considered that the Webinar is an ideal opportunity to spark this discussion with colleagues to discuss ways to develop skills and adapt to the new reality.

Presented by experts on Media and Information Literacy and professional journalists, the different sessions covered reporting in times of information disorders, safety of journalists during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as scientific journalism.

You can watch the full webinar above.