Hi there. 

Welcome to the second edition of Connect:COVID-19

This weekly digest is designed to support busy newsrooms, 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 who work to improve access to quality information in a crisis.  

Find out more about our organisations here:  

With valuable support from Standby Task Force and Anthrologica 

The H2H Network is supported by aid from the UK Government and hosted by the Danish Refugee Council (DRC).

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 by our team or yours.  

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. 

People’s Perspectives - What is your community talking about? 

Calling all journalists in Indonesia: Internews will be hosting a webinar (in Bahasa Indonesia) to connect newsrooms with health experts and fact-checking experts this Thursday 26 March. The panel will include The Indonesian Emergency Doctors Association (PDEI), anti-hoax organisation MAFINDO, the Disaster and Crisis Journalists group, the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) and Internews’ Senior Health Advisor. Register for this free webinar here

Storyful along with the Facebook Journalism Project will host a webinar (in English) this Friday on how to verify online content and tackle medical misinformation related to COVID-19. You can register here

And you can also check out the recordings of previous webinars on tackling misinformation from Google and ASPEN Institute

Resources – What info can I use to respond?  

Evidence Aid is working with a panel of leading clinicians and reviewers to provide helpful summaries of relevant research into COVID-19 to help us navigate what works, what doesn’t work and what’s uncertain. Summaries are available in French, Spanish, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Portuguese and Arabic. The collection is evolving, and they will be updating it continuously over the next couple of months. Check out their information portal for guidelines and resources in a number of languages. 

This week Translators without Borders (TWB) launched an initiative to make existing data about language and literacy more accessible. The first in this series is a dataset for Thailand that helps to identify vulnerable people who are less likely to speak Thai. Coming soon is an interactive map on their website. We’ll keep you updated on that one. 

TWB also released Coronavirus factsheets in Vietnamese, Bahasa Indonesian, Tagalog, Hindi, and Bangla.


Content – What content can I use?  

BBC Media Action produced an infographic on steps you can take to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus by following simple hygiene rules available in English, Bangla, Burmese, and Hindi.

In Bangladesh, BBC Media Action has two new videos that show basic hygiene tips as well as how to dispel a number of myths and misinformation

And the US-based organisation The Refugee Response has created a simple animation explaining the basic facts and safety information for COVID-19, currently available in Burmese, Karen, Nepali, Kinyarwanda, Arabic, Swahili with more languages being added. 

Other resources we’re using.  

ACAPS has a number of new resources out including a dataset on government measures implemented around the world and special reports on the COVID-19 risk for refugees in Yemen and the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Struggling to get your head around the numbers? The team at The Correspondent has released a guide to numeracy in COVID-19, and if it’s the medical terms that you need help with, Merriam Webster dictionaries have developed a  simple guide to COVID-19 terminology. 

Google Trends is a fascinating dashboard showing information and data around search terms related to coronavirus. And you might want to tune in to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s podcast, Coronacast. It’s a short, daily podcast that combines audience perspectives with health expertise. 

In India, Tattle has set up a public image search database that allows people to check if a COVID-19 image has been vetted by a fact-checking organisation. 

First Draft News has created a comprehensive list of tools and guides for journalists covering COVID-19.  

And Transom has released a great guide to ‘safe’ recording during COVID-19 including tips on how to keep your mic hygienic and a number of tools for ‘social distancing’ recording. 

Thought. The World Health Organization has referred to the ‘infodemic’; an avalanche of information about COVID-19 that can make it difficult for consumers to sort fact from fiction. In response, media organisations around the world have responded with helpful guides. Dos and Don’ts of reporting in these difficult times. We will point you towards the best of them. But it left us thinking, are we creating an infodemic of our own? 

In these difficult times, the fundamentals of our craft are as vital as ever. We liked the advice coming from the Ethical Journalism Network in their tweet thread this week. 

Focus on key principles:

  • Truth and accuracy, independence, fairness, and impartiality, humanity and accountability

  • Be accurate and report facts, avoid speculation

  • Don’t sensationalize or stigmatize 

  • Do not disclose names, images or identifying material of patients

  • Seek the opinion of relevant experts with medical and scientific credentials

And of course, look after yourselves, and your colleagues. This week the Dart Center for Journalism is hosting an online conversation about the challenges of reporting during the crisis. 

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This e-bulletin is a product of Internews and the H2H Network. If you have any questions, concerns or feedback, you can email at any time: COVID-19@internews.org

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