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How to improve COVID-19 coverage: Webinar for journalists offered by UNESCO, WHO and Knight Center. Register for free now!

A new multilingual webinar for journalists reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic is just around the corner.

“Variants, vaccines and medications: What journalists need to know to improve COVID-19 coverage” will be held on Thursday, Jan. 27, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. U.S. Central Time (GMT -6). Use a time zone conveter, like this one, to find out the time in your city.

The webinar will be live-streamed on Zoom in English, with simultaneous translation to Arabic, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Register now! 

COVID Webinar - Banner copy

During three one-hour panels, health and science experts and journalists from different regions around the world, including representatives of the World Health Organization, will discuss professional challenges on reporting on COVID-19, inequitable access of information, and ever-evolving data regarding COVID-19; mutations and variants of the virus; and global contexts for journalists covering new developments around the pandemic.

This webinar is organized by the University of Texas at Austin’s Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, in partnership with UNESCO, funded by the World Health Organization and UNESCO’s Multi-Donor Programme on Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists. The main goal of this multilingual webinar is to help journalists around the world cope with the evolving COVID-19 crises coverage.

“We are pleased to join forces with UNESCO and WHO again to continue our efforts to reach thousands of journalists around the world, in multiple languages, with resources and training to help them to improve their coverage of the pandemic,” said professor Rosental Alves, the Knight Center’s founder and director.

“Two years into this pandemic, we are again entering a new phase. Journalists’ role to ask relevant questions, break down the latest scientific knowledge, and dispel disinformation to help citizens and policy makers adapt to new developments cannot be underestimated. UNESCO remains firmly committed to support journalists to stay up to date and cope with this task,” said Guilherme Canela, Chief of the Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists Section at UNESCO. “We see that the lessons learnt of this coverage can also help in other areas where debunking disinformation is relevant such as for elections, climate change and natural disasters."

An outstanding group of science journalists, scientists and other experts will discuss ways to improve the press coverage of the pandemic and fundamental issues reporters and editors must consider when informing the public about COVID-19. The webinar will also address ways to combat disinformation.

Speakers include:

  • Guilherme Canela, chief, Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists Section, UNESCO
  • Gabriella Stern, director of communications, World Health Organization
  • Deborah Blum, director, Knight Science Journalism at MIT
  • Davey Alba, New York Times reporter (U.S.)
  • Federico Kukso, independent science journalist & board member, WFSJ (Argentina)
  • Mandi Smallhorne, president, South African Science Journalists Association & vice-president, WFSJ (South Africa)
  • Jane Qiu, independent science journalist (China)
  • Maria Van Kerkhove, COVID-19 technical lead, World Health Organization
  • Kai Kupferschmidt, reporter, Science Magazine (Germany)
  • Angela Rasmussen, virologist, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization at the University of Saskatchewan (Canada)
  • Margaret Harris, spokesperson for COVID-19, World Health Organization
  • Purvi Parikh, allergist and immunologist, Allergy and Asthma Associates of Murray Hill & clinical assistant professor, New York University School of Medicine (U.S.)
  • Akin Jimoh, editor, Nature Africa (Nigeria)
  • Amy Maxmen, senior reporter, Nature (U.S.)
  • Josh Michaud, associate director of global health, Kaiser Family Foundation (U.S.)
  • Mohammed Yahia, executive editor of Nature Research in the Middle East (Egypt)

The Knight Center has recently published multilingual briefings with tips and insights on covering COVID-19 in the Global South. These regional briefings, written by science journalists based in five regions, are available for:

Multilingual recordings of the upcoming webinar will be added to a special hub of courses & resources on covering COVID-19, hosted on the Knight Center’s Journalism Courses website. This hub of pedagogical materials has links to the briefings, self-directed courses on covering the pandemic and vaccines, and last year’s webinar "Covering the COVID-19 Vaccines: What Journalists Need to Know," which is available in 13 languages. The hub has also been created by the Knight Center, in partnership with UNESCO and with funding from the European Union.

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