Image: CDC/Science Photo Library
In the midst of the biggest international news story in nearly two decades, there are many excellent resources available with tips on reporting and fact checking information about COVID-19.
We’ve started compiling a running post of resources here that we’ll be updating regularly. If you’d like to suggest an addition you can email us or reach out via our Twitter @walkleys.
You can also sign up for the Walkley Foundation and Google News Initiative weekly newsletter here. If you’re interested in organising a one-on-one training session or group workshops via video conferencing, contact training manager John Bergin.
Useful factual resources
- Google News Initiative and the Walkley Foundation have gathered together a host of resources and information in a special newsletter edition focusing on the coronavirus.
- Wondering if you still need to be washing your hands before eating, touching your face, treating a wound, etc? The answer is yes, and here are some tips from Certified Nurses Assistants’ training courses on properly washing your hands, as laid out by leading health organisations including the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organisation.
- The European Journalism Centre has released an updated Verification Handbook For Disinformation And Media Manipulation, with tools to spot and debunk false information. Buzzfeed’s Craig Silverman edited the handbook – listen to his short podcast conversation with First Draft’s Dr Claire Wardle about how the verification landscape has changed since 2014.
- The ICFJ highlights why journalism is essential to overcoming COVID-19, but why it’s in danger from the ‘viral load of disinformation’.
- First Draft’s daily newsletter continues to provide a digestible breakdown of the best reads and information on COVID-19 disinformation.
- The Committee to Protect Journalists’ “Coronavirus Response” is tracking attacks on press freedom and journalists during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Agora Journalism Center in the USA is maintaining a Trello board with a constantly updated overview of COVID-19 resources.
- The Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) has guides to covering the crisis in 13 languages, including tips on the best sources, reporting, and protecting yourself, as well as advice from Ross Settles of Hong Kong University on practical ways small independent media can weather the storm of COVID-19.
- With domestic violence services warning of a spike in abuse cases during the coronavirus pandemic, Our Watch has a host of useful resources for reporting on violence against women and children.
- The International Journalists Network has compiled a landing page of information and tips for journalists covering COVID-19, for an era when “everyone’s a health reporter”. Read articles on bringing solutions-oriented reporting to the pandemic, how newsrooms can best serve their readers, and how previous health crises can inform reporting on COVID-19 here.
- The International Federation of Journalists has launched an online training program with Thomson Reuters on safety for journalists and those you work with when covering pandemics such as COVID-19; you can enrol here. The IFJ’s list of COVID-19 resources and news is here, and you can sign up to their email bulletins here.
- First Draft, a nonprofit tackling disinformation, has an extensive resource hub including FAQS, information source recommendations and a searchable archive of debunked claims, along with a series of international webinars facilitating talks with guidance on how to slow down misinformation and avoid repeating falsehoods in headlines. More resources compiled by First Draft include:
The Open Notebook: Tipsheet – Covering the Coronavirus Epidemic Effectively Without Spreading Misinformation
Esri ArcGSI blog: Mapping coronavirus, responsibly
Journalist’s Resource: Covering Covid-19 and the coronavirus: 5 tips from a Harvard epidemiology professor
Scientific American [op-ed]: How to Report on the Covid-19 Outbreak Responsibly
Asian American Journalists Association: Guidance on Coronavirus Coverage
Poynter: How newsrooms can tone down their coronavirus coverage while still reporting responsibly
Association of Health Care Journalists: Use caution when reporting on pandemic potential of coronavirus
National Press Club: Covering Coronavirus: Expert Tips for Journalists and Communicators [Video] OneZero: The Simplest Way to Spot Coronavirus Misinformation on Social Media
- The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma has English and Chinese language resources for the coronavirus epidemic, including tips on covering disease, interviewing victims and survivors, and working with colleagues exposed to traumatic events.
- Respected medical journal The Lancet has also compiled a Coronavirus Resource Centre for health workers and researchers working under challenging conditions to bring this outbreak to a close. The free-to-access resource centre brings together new 2019 novel coronavirus disease content from across The Lancet journals as it is published. Visit it here.
- Reuter Institute has compiled a comprehensive fact sheet detailing “the main types, sources, and claims of COVID-19 misinformation seen so far…analysing a sample of 225 pieces of misinformation rated false or misleading by fact-checkers and published in English between January and the end of March 2020, drawn from a collection of fact-checks maintained by First Draft.” Read it here.
- Poynter Institute has a useful tip sheet of advice for journalists writing about the difficult subject of death, and are running live, 30-minute Q&A video sessions with Poynter experts covering practical advice for journalists during COVID-19, from using analytics to target your content to job-hunting in a pandemic.
World Health Organisation
- Australian Government Department of Health
- New South Wales
- Western Australia
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
Coronavirus Australia app and WhatsApp chat: coronavirus information and public health advice available through an official app on Google Play and from the Apple App Store, alongside a new WhatsApp feature.
Statistics, Stories & Data Visualisations
- John Bergin of Google News Initiative’’s COVID-19 Twitter List
- John Hopkins University
- First Draft’s COVID-19 Twitter List
- Datawrapper Live Visualisations
- Australian COVID-19 Data Viz
- BNO Desk
- Led by organisations like the International Fact-Checking Network, rigorous fact checks are now conducted by more than 100 active sites, according to the Duke University Reporter’s Lab. They collectively produce many thousands of fact checks a year, and now they’ve turned their scrutiny to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
- Google Fact Check Tools consists of two services: Fact Check Explorer and Fact Check Markup Tool. Both tools aim to facilitate the work of fact checkers, journalists and researchers. Google does not endorse or create any of these fact checks. If you disagree with one, please contact the website owner that published it. You can read more about the process on Google’s official blog. If you’re a publisher, you can learn more about how Google determines fact check content here. If you’re a developer, learn how to add the structured data here.
- The World Health Organisation also has a list of common myths about the coronavirus.
- AP has released a terminology guide for reporting on COVID-19 based on its stylebook.
Video chat and webinar tips
- For those looking at ways to improve digital programming and online projects in the age of cancelled face-to-face events, ArtsHub has some useful information from arts organisations on how to engage audiences with digital experiences, including free or low-cost software for live streaming, webinars and podcasting. Read more here.
Help for thriving in isolation
- The Guardian’s new regular section The Good Place – a hub for stories “that remind people of the good in the world during these strange and isolating times” – has a wealth of tips for working from home, isolation-proofing your live-in relationships, podcasts to listen to, and Dogs of Instagram working from home.
- The ABC spoke with experts on maintaining good mental health during long periods working from home, from booking in time away from the desk to scheduling in video catch-ups with colleagues, and ABC Radio has launched new daily podcast Coronacast, with up-to-the-minute information answering your questions about coronavirus from Gold Walkley-winner Dr Norman Swan.
- The Conversation and The Atlantic have put together clear guidelines on exactly what social distancing means and best practice, while Columbia Journalism Review writes about the psychological toll of coronavirus coverage and news outlets adding to the “signal, not noise”.
Support & funding
- The Google News Initiative (GNI) has announced the first elements in a global COVID-19 response program for the news industry, with a Journalism Emergency Relief Fund available to small- and medium-sized news organisations producing original content for local communities worldwide. Find out more about eligibility for this program and fill out the simple application form on the GNI website here.Applications close 4.59pm Thursday 30 April AEST. For more info, see the GNI Journalism Emergency Relief Fund webpage, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or watch the online Town Hall event on YouTube here.
- The Journalists’ Benevolent Fund is ready to help anyone whose income has been cut because of the virus, whether through illness, enforced isolation, workplace closures or carer responsibilities.The JBF offers grants or interest-free loans to journalists, artists and photographers across Australia who are in financial need. The trustees are also keen to receive applications for assistance from anyone affected by the Christmas-New Year bushfires.To seek help, go to nswjbf.org and click on Apply for assistance. Fill in your details and submit them. Applications are always considered promptly and in confidence. More information here.
- The Judith Neilson Institute (JNI) has launched three new initiatives to support media organisations and journalists during the coronavirus pandemic. The three initiatives will boost funding for freelancers and casual contributors, provide a free news service for Australia’s 450 community radio stations, and help tackle misinformation on COVID-19, including on social media.Media organisations, including regional and independent media, are invited to apply for financial support for freelancers and casual contributors to undertake specific projects. JNI is also allocating funding to the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA), enabling the CBAA to provide its National Radio News service free of charge for six months and reach a potential 5.8 million listeners each week.And JNI will provide support to RMIT University for RMIT ABC Fact Check, helping RMIT commit additional resources to its efforts to tackle misinformation amidst the deluge of coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more about all three initiatives, and how media organisations can apply for financial support for freelance and casual contributors, at the JNI website.
- The federal government has announced a package of COVID-19 relief measures for Australian media, including spectrum tax rebates and a $50 million Public Interest News Gathering program for regional TV, newspaper and radio businesses. Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said “Many Australians are doing it tough right now and the media sector is sharing that pain, especially in regional areas. Broadcasters and newspapers face significant financial pressure and COVID-19 has led to a sharp downturn in advertising revenue across the whole sector.”
- The Copyright Agency has announced an additional $375,000 in grants to support the media industry’s writers, visual artists and publishers “in the face of the severe challenges they face as a result of COVID-19.” Find out all the details here.
Is your freelance pitch calendar looking a little empty for the months ahead? Rachel’s List has started a Google Doc of Australian publishers still commissioning freelance stories during COVID-19 and those currently under a freeze. Take a look and add your own tips here.