Hi there. 

Welcome to the third edition of Connect:COVID-19. This weekly digest will connect you with quality resources and fact-checked information designed to combat misinformation in the COVID-19 crisis.  

This weekly digest is designed to support busy newsrooms as well as fact-checking and community organisations. We link you with the tools you need to provide your communities with accurate information to combat rumours and misinformation.  

Who are we? We are a group of organisations funded by the H2H Network that work to improve access to quality information in a crisis. 

Find out more about our organisations here:  InternewsTranslators without BordersBBC Media Action and Evidence Aid. With valuable support from other H2H Network members, including Standby Task Force and Anthrologica.

We make two promises. To be brief - we know many people are facing an information overload at this time. And to be practical – our support, content, and resources are free to use and can be adapted for context and language preferences. 

We can:

  • Help you respond to misinformation with verified information from sources you can trust 

  • Translate quality COVID-19 resources into local languages  

  • Create engaging content to respond to community information gaps 

If you have any questions, requests for resources, feedback or would like to let us know when our tools have been useful, you can email us at any time at covid-19@internews.org

     

This week's tools. 

How are you connecting with your audience during this time of social distancing? BBC Media Action is using Facebook to communicate up to date COVID-19 information with migrant workers in Thailand and Malaysia.  In India, BBC Media Action uses Twitter to connect as the country is under its 21-day lockdown. Want to share? We’d love to hear the innovative tools you’re using to keep engaged.

Want an insight into the pressing concerns of your audience? Google has launched a dedicated page that shows top search trends related to COVID-19 around the world. You can use this as inspiration for stories or as a way to identify issues where your audience might need more information

This week saw a great example of the power of rumours to adapt to context and culture. Early last week we saw a story emerging in Indonesia that a baby had been born that could speak. In the story, the baby claimed that eating boiled eggs could protect you from COVID-19. We followed this early easter egg hunt across the week. As it traveled, the location of the birth changed, and details adapted to the local context. For example, in the Philippines, the baby was called ‘Sto Nino’ (child of Jesus), in Thailand a Buddhist adaptation of the rumour emerged. Days later, influencers in Cambodia were on to it before it landed in Uganda.

Information like this is flying through social media groups, private messages, pictures, voice messages, and even videos. And while this rumour clearly doesn’t give great advice, it isn’t too dangerous. Eating boiled eggs could only lead to an increase in cholesterol, or as we have also seen, egg prices. But what it shows, is the power of hope to fuel a rumour. Keep in mind when you're addressing rumours in your reporting, that they point to the hopes, fears, and anxieties of a community as well as highlighting a lack of access to quality information. This guide from Internews can help you in choosing when and how to respond to rumours in your community. 

Looking for new angles on the virus? The Internews Earth Journalism Network is hosting a free webinar on April 2 that will explore threats posed by human-wildlife interactions and how environmental disruption is heightening our risk of pandemics like the one we’re currently facing.

This week TWB also teamed up with Save the Children to produce COVID-19 guidance on addressing the needs of people living with disabilities in Arabic and Spanish. They have also translated this Pyramid Learning Short course on coronavirus into French, Arabic, and Spanish. Additional languages for both resources are in the pipeline.  

No matter how good your reporting is, the language or formats you use could be preventing some people from accessing the latest COVID-19 information. Translators without Borders (TWB) has released a new global map to help you plan what languages you should be reporting in and where literacy may be a serious barrier to accessing health information. 

The Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) in Australia is one good example of a media organisation going above and beyond in that respect by producing coronavirus news and information in 63 languages

And if you missed Internews’ Bahasa Indonesia media skills webinar last week, check it out online to hear doctors and seasoned journalists in Indonesia discuss how to responsibly tackle misinformation and rumours in your reporting. 

People living in urban informal settlements could be greatly affected by a COVID-19 outbreak. Anthrologica contributed towards this brief that explores how these groups can be best protected. This is part of a series that also includes practical briefs on quarantine and social media.

Music and songs are a popular way to communicate in Myanmar and so BBC Media Action has produced a COVID-19 song. Doe Pat is a style of traditional Myanmar folk songs which is usually sung during festivals. This version encourages people to avoid crowds and follow basic hygiene tips. It’s being distributed via social media, on TV stations and it’s also being played through loudspeakers mounted on cars. People say they like the song as it’s lively and makes them smile. Importantly, people also can recall the main messages. 
Are you using music to communicate about COVID-19? Share your story with us.

Other resources we’re using.  

 

If you have any questions, requests for resources, feedback or would like to let us know when our tools have been useful, you can email us at any time at covid-19@internews.org


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