Keeping informed

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, we have compiled a list of vital resources, sources, public media content and best practices for the public, journalists and media workers alike

Use the links below to browse recommended content. The Public Media Alliance will continue to update this page regularly with more information and resources.

The resources below are split into three sections: resources for journalists and media workers, useful sources for the general publicchildren’s content and funding opportunities.

Use the the scrolling function on the righthand side of the page to jump between sections.

Updated: 3 April 2020

Featured Resource

PMA member CBC/Radio-Canada has made available its internal guides about how best to work during the coronavirus pandemic. The guides includes best practice for employees and managers, with advice on how best to work from home and in the field.

Our thanks to CBC/Radio-Canada for making these available.

The guides are available as PDF’s below and are available in both French and English.


Journalists and media professionals

Given the global nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is proving to be one of the most challenging stories that many journalists will have experienced.

The following round up of key resources and tools provides tips and advice for media professionals reporting on the novel Coronavirus, some of which can be used for other crisis and emergency reporting. It includes safety information for journalists who are in direct contact with individuals with confirmed cases, and it emphasises the media’s vital role in providing the public with credible, fact-checked and timely information, while reminding them to avoid sensationalised and fear-provoking reporting.

Article 19: Policy Brief 

  • A briefing about 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. 

BBC Media Action guide (Manual)

  • “This manual provides tips for media practitioners on how to help audiences during health emergencies. It can be read in conjunction with BBC Media Action’s Lifeline Production Manual (available online), which provides more general guidance on how to communicate with people affected by humanitarian crises in order to help save lives and reduce suffering.”

CARPHA (Caribbean Public Health Agency) Facebook Live Syposium Coronavirus (COVID 19) (Panel and round table discussion)

  • CARPHA live-streamed a symposium on CARPHA and the role of the media in reporting on Covid-19. It is available to start watching at 2:08:46, where the broadcast starts.

CDAC (Communication with Disaster Affected Communities) (List of resources)

    • The list summarises information resources related to health, messaging and communications, and community engagement.

Connect: COVID 19 Newsletter 

  • Internews, BBC Media Action, Evidence without Aid and Translators without Borders have come together to produce a weekly bulletin “designed to support busy newsrooms, fact-checking organisations, and non-profits across South East Asia and beyond. We link you with the tools you need to provide your communities with accurate, timely and actionable information 

The Committee to Protect Journalists (Resources)

    • Coronavirus Response webpage – this new resource features “regularly updated physical, digital, and psychosocial safety advice from CPJ Emergencies for journalists covering the crisis, available in more than 15 languages. An “ask an expert” section allows journalists and newsrooms to submit questions and get up-to-date advice from CPJ safety experts.”
      • It also includes a safety advisory, which includes advice on pre and post assignment, travel planning, face masks and avoiding infection.

Coronavirus Radio Ideas Facebook Group

    • A new Facebook group page has been created by P1 Media Group and Benztown for radio stations around the world to share ideas on how they are dealing with Covid-19 and how they can still produce quality broadcasts during the pandemic.

Dart Center (List of resources)

  • “English and Chinese-language resources for journalists covering the coronavirus epidemic, including tips on covering disease, interviewing victims and survivors, and working with colleagues exposed to traumatic events.”

DEMAC – WEBINAR COVID-19 RESPONSE: COMMUNCATING WITH COMMUNITIES (Webinar)

    • The objective of this webinar was to discuss and share knowledge and experience on relevant efforts to communicate with your communities in your country of origin in order to prepare, prevent, protect, and mitigate the impact of the coronavirus epidemic.

Ethical Journalism Network (Advice)

  • Essential advice reminding journalists of key ethical principles when reporting on Coronavirus, such as truth, accuracy, impartiality and accountability.

First Draft (Tips)

  • “Here are First Draft’s tips for responsible reporting on Covid-19. They are informed by our interviews with health and science reporters, health professionals and journalism professors, our existing training materials, and several excellent coronavirus reporting guides listed at the end of this article.”
    • Also available in Arabic, French, Spanish and German

Fundación para la libertad de prensa (Advice – Spanish)

    • FLIP provides advice on how journalists and media workers can protect themselves while covering the COVID-19 pandemic.

GFMD COVERING COVID-19: REPORTS, RESOURCES, AND TOOLS 

  • Many media organisations, including some of GFMD’s members and partners, have been working on projects to help prevent the spread of false information, which can be found using the link above. 

Global Investigative Journalism Network: Tips for Journalists Covering COVID-19 

IJNET – 10 tips for journalists covering COVID-19 (Reporting tips)

  • From carefully-chosen headlines to avoiding the use of stereotypes, the International Journalists’ Network pulls together 10 top tips for journalists to take into consideration when reporting on Covid-19

Internews – Managing Misinformation in a Humanitarian Context (Report)

    • The rumor tracking methodology, which is part of Internews’ Learning Collection, includes three parts: Context, Case Studies, and a How To Guide. The How To Guide is usually packaged separately for ease of use.

IPI – Covid19 Media Freedom Monitoring

    • Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the free flow of news and information is more essential than ever, ensuring open dialogue and the exchange of vital information. IPI is therefore closely monitoring press freedom restrictions in this exceptional situation.

Knight Science Journalism: Tips and Tools for Reporting on COVID-19 (Resources)

  • KSJ has complied this list of resources to assist reporters in delivering “clear, accurate information about the pandemic — and report on it responsibly. 

Media Development Investment Fund

    • MDIF advises on how to minimise the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on your media business.

Poynter (Advice)

ReliefWeb (Guide)

  • Risk communication for vulnerable members of society

Reuters Institute: How journalists can help stop the spread of the coronavirus outbreak

  • “Here are 11 tips on how to report on the outbreak from Trudie Lang and Peter Drobac, two public health experts from Oxford University”

The Role of Media in Covering the COVID-19 Outbreak (Webinar)

  • The IFRC, BBC Media Action, Internews and the WHO participated in a webinar “to give guidance to journalists in covering the spread of the corona virus”.

The WHO media resources

  • This includes access to live media briefings on Covid-19 in video, audio and transcript formats.
  • Sign up to press briefings here

UNESCO media resources

    • Audio resources to counter disinformation: “To contribute to countering misinformation on COVID-19, UNESCO has produced a series of audio messages that can be freely used by radio stations from around the world.” They are available in multiple languages.
    • UNESCO has also created the Resource Center of Responses to COVID-19, which “includes a collection of examples of actions related to communication and information made available for the purpose of sharing practices, identifying priorities, facilitating partnerships, amplifying good practices, providing advice and technical assistance to governments and relevant national stakeholders, and fostering North-South, South-South, and triangular cooperation.”

General public

Knowing how to decipher between fact and fiction during a global health crises can prove just as challenging in a climate where there is an abundance of information (some refer to this as an infodemic). This is escalated even more so by social media. Here we have pulled together a list of key organisations and resources that the general public can turn to for credible information about Coronavirus.

Read more: Explore our previous round-up of recommended sources and  fact-checked information

Our World in Data

The renowned Our World in Data team have collaborated with Kurzgesagt to make an accessible video about the science surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic and spread useful information about how to address the crisis.

Their work on coronavirus pandemic is updated daily and can be found here.

Africa Check (Guide)

  • African fact-checking organisation, Africa Check, provides three tips on how to tell fact from fiction during the pandemic. Also available in French.

Coronavirus: A glossary of terms

    • New Zealand’s public broadcaster, RNZ, has produced a “glossary of terms related to the Covid-19 coronavirus” – this is to help those who are “out of the loop, cut down on misinformation” and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

EPI-WIN/the WHO public resources

  • This includes a range of resources on Covid-19 for the general public, including Q&As with experts from the World Health Organisation, advice on preparing your workplace for Covid-19 and considerations regarding mental health during the global health emergency.

John Hopkins University of Medicine: CORONAVIRUS RESOURCE CENTER 

  • Johns Hopkins experts in global public health, infectious disease, and emergency preparedness have been at the forefront of the international response to COVID-19. This website is a resource to help advance the understanding of the virus, inform the public, and brief policymakers in order to guide a response, improve care, and save lives. 

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) free online course.

  • LSHTM also have seminars and panel discussions on Coronavirus.

Politifact: 7 ways to avoid misinformation during the coronavirus pandemic 

  • “PolitiFact has fact-checked a lot of popular social media posts about the 2019 coronavirus, COVID-19.” They have also created “a guide with seven ways to avoid falling for some of the most common falsehoods about epidemics like the coronavirus.” 

Public media organisations

  • Public media organisations have been utilising their different platforms to provide the public with the latest developments on Coronavirus. This includes moving away from traditional one-to-one broadcasts and interacting with their audiences to ensure that a dialogue is created about Coronavirus. Examples include:
      • ABC Australia – Public Q&As
      • BBC – Your questions answered
      • CBC/R-C /RDI – Plans to make content more accessible
      • Deutsche Welle – DW’s dedicated Coronavirus page includes regional updates on Coronavirus developments.
      • France Info#OnVousRépond (French)
      • NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster, has a page on their news website dedicated to Coronavirus updates. Information is summarised at 10:30am every day, containing “compiled information obtained from local government and Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare”. It includes interactive graphs, tables and categorised articles. Information is also available on the NHK News and Disaster Prevention App. (Japanese)
      • NDR – The German public broadcaster has responded to the need for information with a new coronavirus podcast that provides an update on the situation every day.
      • NPR has launched a special seriesspecial series giving the public access to everything they need to know about the pandemic.
      • PBS – PBS launched a new audio series as part of their Frontline Dispatch podcast as well as Answering your questions on Coronavirus on PBS NewsHour
      • RTVE The Spanish public broadcaster has produced an interactive map and other visual features to illustrate Coronavirus developments in Spain and across the world (Spanish) 
      • SABC – South Africa’s public broadcaster has pinpointed designated hospitals for managing the virus in the country on Google Maps via their website as well as documented cases of Covid-19 in Africa in a video entitled, “Coronavirus footprint in Africa”
      • SBS Australia has launched the SBS Multilingual Coronavirus Portal, a dedicated online information hub for multicultural communities to easily access accurate and trusted news and information about COVID-19, in their language.

Social media

  • We recommend following  these social media accounts.
  • #CoronaVirusFact/#DatosCoronaVirus are key  hashtags to follow on Twitter. However, we urge caution as hashtags can easily be coopted for non-relevant content.

Trusted Fact checkers

WHO Health Alert (Whatsapp resource) 

  • The service “has been designed to answer questions from the public about Coronavirus, and to give prompt, reliable and official information 24 hours a day, worldwide. This will also serve government decision-makers by providing the latest numbers and situation reports.” It will become available in several different languages in coming weeks. 

Children’s content – public media and non-profit organisations

As more governments make the difficult decision to close schools and universities, it is increasingly up to parents to answer key questions that children and young people may have about coronavirus. This includes how it may affect them and their local communities as well as the reasons why they are being forced to leave the classroom in some cases. It is also their responsibility to debunk some of the myths about Covid-19.

Fortunately numerous public media and non-profit organisations have created specialised content for explaining the ins and outs of Covid-19 to children as well as educational programmes that young people can engage with outside of school.

BBC Newsround (UK)

  • Videos, advice and the latest information on Coronavirus tailored specifically for a younger audience.

CBC Kids (Canada)

  • CBC Kids provides news, articles and videos by young people, for young people, with specialised content on Coronavirus
  • CBC also offers advice for explaining coronavirus to children

Czech TV

  • Czech TV has been airing a “virtual classroom” show, which will continue until schools reopen.

KBS (South Korea)

  • KBS is providing and combining extensive educational and entertainment content especially for children and students due to classes in the country being postponed amid the ongoing Coronavirus crisis. 

National Geographic Kids

  • Nat Geo Kids has compiled some key facts about the novel coronavirus, what young people can do and whether they should be worried. This is written in a clear-cut, accessible way.
    • Also check out their free online school resources in their Primary Resources section. Core subjects, including English, Maths and Science are covered as well as wider curriculum, such as space and Ancient Egypt. All are aligned with the National Curriculum and the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence.

NHK (Japan)

  • “NHK for School” is a platform that has released close to 2000 educational programmes and 7,000 related videos. NHK organises programmes that support children’s learning on the radio. They also provide news with “easy” Japanese here. 

RTÉ  (Ireland)

SRG SSR

  • In cooperation with teachers’ associations, the French language Swiss public broadcaster, SRF, is developing the “SRF mySchool” programme. It is also expanding the online format “Zwei am Morge” on the SRF 2 television channel, continuously increasing the number of explanatory videos and providing special interactive content on its radio channels. 

UNICEF

  • “What you need to know about the virus to protect you and your family”

US Public Media

  • NPR has created a comic for children about Coronavirus based on a radio story by NPR Education reporter, Cory Turner.
    • Listen to the original radio story here
  • PBS children’s channel, PBS KIDS, pooled together tools and multi-platform content, using videos, games and activities to practice healthy habits.
  • For more examples of US public media organisations providing educational content for students during the coronavirus outbreak, read this article by TVNewsCheck for an extensive round-up.

WHO, IFRC, UNICEF

  • Guidance for children/schools: “In the event of school closures, the guidance includes recommendations to mitigate against the possible negative impacts on children’s learning and wellbeing. This means having solid plans in place to ensure the continuity of learning, including remote learning options such as online education strategies and radio broadcasts of academic content, and access to essential services for all children. These plans should also include necessary steps for the eventual safe reopening of schools.”

ZDF (Germany)

  • The German public broadcaster has created a virtual classroom for children to access and engage with educational content while not at school.

Funds & Grants

During crises and emergencies, the public rely on access to quality and accountable news media for up to date information. But in periods of isolation, other information and entertainment content is needed to not only educate but also to offer shared experiences and companionship as well as education for children at home.  

The problem is, this content needs to be made and refreshed, and the coronavirus pandemic poses significant threats to media professionals and freelancers, especially in terms of job security.  

The following section offers links to funding grants and opportunities for audiences and media professionals alike, to offer a sense of security in these troubling times.  

  • BBC Local Radio (UK only) 
    • The BBC has announced a new scheme to provide free DAB radios to the most vulnerable people aged over 70. The scheme, which will see local BBC stations team up with manufacturers, retailers and charities, aims to tackle cases of loneliness as the country undergoes isolation measures.  
    • More information can be found at bbc.co.uk/makeadifference
    • Co-funding is available from the European Commission for projects to promote media freedom, investigative journalism and defend journalists under threat. More than ever the public require access to quality and factchecked news and information. A variety of funds are available, including one to strengthen cross-border investigative journalism. 
    • Internews launches a rapid response fund to help small, local news organisations worldwide survive in the face of COVID-19. The fund will launch with $100,000 to be made available immediately and is targeting $1 million in donations to provide immediate support for journalists globally. 
  • NZ on Air: Rapid Response Content (New Zealand) 
    • “At a time when New Zealanders are consuming more content than ever and local storytelling is essential to our mental health and wellbeing, it has been heartening to see the creative sectors immediately respond with a desire to create meaningful content in ‘lock down’. We intend to allocate a minimum of $400k to a Rapid Response RFP to provide opportunities for the production industry during this tough period.” 
    • This fund is aimed at freelance journalists worldwide. The Trust assists freelancers in four main ways: Assistance Grants, Training Funds, Safety Clinics and Freelance Resources.  
    • The BFI and The Film and TV Charity have partnered to create a new industry-backed Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund to help support the creative community, which like many industries, has been devastated by the pandemic. It will provide emergency short-term relief to the many thousands of active workers and freelancers who have been directly affected by the closure of productions across the UK. 
    • The support line has already received a £1million donation from Netflix and £700,000 from the BBC.  

Header Image: White face mask with a map of the world is lying on a blue background. Credit: domin_domin/iStock

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