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

The webinar: “Variants, vaccines and medications: What journalists need to know to improve COVID-19 coverage” will be held on Thursday, Jan. 27, from 4 to 7 p.m. Central European Time (CET) (from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. U.S. Central Time (GMT -6)). It will be live streamed on Zoom and YouTube in English, with simultaneous translation to Arabic, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

This webinar is organized by the University of Texas at Austin’s Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, in partnership with UNESCO and the World Health Organization (WHO) with funding from WHO and UNESCO’s Multi-Donor Programme on Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists.

“It has never been more urgent to communicate clearly and carefully about science and public health. At WHO, we are grateful to journalists around the world who have worked so hard to convey complex issues during the COVID-19 pandemic and reflect the voices of people around the world as they’ve navigated this unprecedented crisis. This webinar is the next step in our continued collaboration”, says Gabriella Stern, Director of Communications at WHO.

“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,” says professor Rosental Alves, the Knight Center’s founder and director.

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 & vicepresident, WFSJ (South Africa)
  • Jane Qiu, independent science journalist (China)
  • Kai Kupferschmidt, reporter, Science Magazine (Germany)
  • Angela Rasmussen, virologist, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization at the University of Saskatchewan (Canada)
  • Purvi Parikh, allergist and immunologist, Allergy and Asthma Associates of Murray Hill & clinical assistant professor, New York University School of Medicine (U.S.)
  • Akin Jomah, 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)

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 2021 webinar “Covering the COVID-19 Vaccines: What Journalists Need to Know,” which received over 10 000 views and 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.

For more information and to register for the webinar, please see: https://journalismcourses.org/events/webinar-what-journalists-need-to-know-to-improve-covid-19-coverage/

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