Covering COVID-19: verifying facts & reporting on solutions

Date: December 1, 2020 – February 2, 2021
Location: Online

Due to the swarm of misinformation and conspiracy theories related to the coronavirus, journalists are facing difficult challenges when it comes to reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic. This course is designed for journalists, journalism students, and aspiring fact-checkers who want to learn how best to report during the current infodemic. Its integrative approach provides the opportunity to talk with experts, receive mentoring, and develop valuable skills.

Participants will get to hear from experts about how to combat the threat of COVID-19 disinformation, debunk myths, and report on the global health crisis from a solutions-based perspective.

Enroll if you want to:

  1. Get better at debunking and fact-checking COVID-related disinformation
  2. Learn how to make your audience more resilient through news literacy
  3. Give people hope by reporting on solutions to complex problems
  4. Get professional editorial mentoring and a chance to get published

Those who take part in 80 percent of the course activities will receive a TOL completion certificate.

Here’s some of the positive feedback we received:

It has also been an important workshop because we have learned from different practices for dealing with problems from different countries that can help us as journalists with ideas on how to address them in our country.” – Besmire

“The course was very useful and concise. Even if it was short, I have learned a lot and it will be useful in my future career in the field of journalism.” – Amina

“Disinformation caused a lot of damage around the world, especially during the pandemic of coronavirus. Because of that, it’s important to inform people on how to debunk it through training such as this one.” – Anonymous

“The mix of theoretical and practical parts was very interesting and useful to me. As was the collaboration with other participants, too.” – Jelena

A workshop on “Reporting on the Pandemic – Science, Sources, & Misinformation” took place on 2 February. Check out sessions one and two on the Transitions Youtube page.

Past Webinars

Following the webinars (see below) are a series of workshops where participants will receive mentoring and the chance to collaborate with others. These workshops are designed for participants to gain important professional skills, such as practicing debunking disinformation and coming up with a good pitch.

Are you from Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia or Ukraine? You may enjoy these follow-up workshops that will look at these issues from a more regional perspective. Language translation will be available.

Below is the schedule for upcoming workshops.

Reporting on the Pandemic–Science, Sources & Misinformation

Tuesday, Feb. 2 4:00PM (GMT+1) REGISTER NOW!

Everyone working in a newsroom now needs to consider themselves a science journalist. Covering the  pandemic means reading scientific papers, speaking to members of the science community and considering any external factors that might result in the spread of misinformation or disinformation. You can overcome these  challenges when you have processes that  turn regular journalistic rigor into science reporting. This interactive session with experienced journalist and trainer Fergus Bell will walk you through finding and vetting sources, understanding the limitations of research and identifying how to combat misinformation related to science coverage.

 You will learn to:

Register now. 

Speakers 

Fergus Bell is the founder and CEO of Fathm, an independent news lab and consultancy. He is an experienced journalist, editor and leading expert in digital news gathering, verification, newsroom innovation and collaborative journalism projects.

Fergus’ experience spans both the business and editorial sides of the news industry. He spent eight years at the Associated Press, where he became their first International Social Media and User Generated Content  Editor. He then headed up newsroom partnerships and innovation for digital news gathering start-up, SAM Desk. In 2015 Fergus founded Dig Deeper Media, advising broadcasters, publishers and start-ups on social and digital news gathering, newsroom transformation and innovation.

In 2017 he co-founded Pop-Up Newsroom, a framework for collaborative journalism projects that has already seen success in the US, the UK, India, Sweden and with the multi-award winning “Verificado” – an initiative designed to monitor misinformation during the Mexican elections. In 2019 Pop-Up Newsroom was a core architect and partner of India’s ground-breaking Checkpoint initiative that innovated heavily with WhatsApp to tackle misinformation in the world’s largest election.

Fergus has been a Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow and is a graduate of the University of Leeds.

The first session will focus on the best practices of exposing disinformation. The second will look at building public trust by reporting on solutions to the pandemic’s challenges.

Countering the Covid Infodemic–Innovative approaches in debunking myths

Speakers

John Cook is a research assistant professor at the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University, researching cognitive science. In 2007, he founded Skeptical Science, a website which won the 2011 Australian Museum Eureka Prize for the Advancement of Climate Change Knowledge and the 2016 Friend of the Planet Award from the National Center for Science Education.

John has co-authored several college textbooks that examine climate change science, and in 2013 he received recognition from President Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron on his paper analyzing the scientific consensus on climate change. In 2015, he developed a massive open online course at the University of Queensland on climate science denial, that has received over 40,000 enrollments.

Overcoming the bad news–Building trust by reporting on solutions

The spread of COVID-19 has created an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty across the world. Many people want to know what they can do to ensure that they and their communities are safe and on the road to recovery. Solid reporting on what’s working, from rapid testing to quarantine strategies and from online learning to economic relief plans, helps provide crucial information to individuals and policymakers.

If you’re a journalist or in communications and looking for an introduction to solutions reporting on the pandemic or a refresher on the four pillars of solutions journalism this webinar is for you.

Speakers

Jeremy Druker is the executive director and editor in chief of Transitions, which has made solutions journalism a central part of its editorial strategy. He has led solutions journalism workshops throughout Central and Eastern Europe. He is also founder/CEO of Press Start, a crowdfunding platform that supports journalists in countries where the press cannot report freely. Jeremy is a member of the supervisory board of the Czech Journalism Prizes and has been an Ashoka Fellow since 2010.

Lucie Černá leads Transitions’ program promoting solutions journalism in Central and Eastern Europe and coordinates activities supporting solutions-oriented reporting in more than 10 countries. She has been involved in the topic since 2017, and acts as a trainer and mentor helping journalists in the Central and Eastern Europe region to bring a solutions lens to their reporting practice. In October 2019, Lucie became a Solutions Journalism Network LEDE Fellow. Prior to joining Transitions, she worked for Ashoka and Greenpeace.

Additional Workshops

Countering the infodemic–best practices and ideas generator

Logic is the best vaccine for COVID-19 disinformation. Our workshop “Countering the infodemic–best practices and idea generator” is designed for journalists, journalism students, and aspiring fact-checkers who want to get hands-on experience in debunking myths related to the virus.

Tuesday, Dec. 1 2:00PM (GMT+1)

Speakers

Elvira Jukić is the editor of Mediacentar Sarajevo. Over the past 12 years, she worked as a journalist, editor, researcher and media analyst in the field of politics, society, human rights, ethics and media. As a journalist, she worked for the public broadcaster Federation TV, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and collaborated with many international and regional media outlets and on different projects.

She has a degree in journalism from the Faculty of Political Sciences in Sarajevo and graduated with an MA in Communication from the University of Westminster in London. Previously, she participated in several training programs, including the Reuters Economic and Political Reporting from Southeast Europe as well as Reuters Training of Trainers. In the last five years, she has worked intensively on analysis of media reporting, journalism education and projects advancing the professionalization of media in the Western Balkans.

Jaroslav Valuch is an experienced practitioner in the field of media literacy, social media activism, countering hate speech, and communication with crisis-affected populations. In the wake of the coronavirus crisis, he co-started a volunteer fact-checking initiative that processed over 100 fact checks in 90 days and he co-developed COVID-19 related media literacy lesson plans for teachers.

Jaroslav has worked with dozens of organizations and civic initiatives in Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. He is a news literacy and fact-checking project manager at Transitions, a Prague-based media development organization, with a special focus on elderly citizens.

Wednesday, Dec, 2 4:00PM (GMT+1)

Speakers 

Vitalii Moroz works as a Head of New Media at Internews Ukraine, one of the leading media NGO in Ukraine. Previously, he worked as a Program manager at Freedom House, Kyiv office, where he managed election monitoring, voter education and watchdog programs. At Internews Ukraine ,Vitalii is responsible for strategy planning and implementation of new technology and media projects. Today he oversees programs aimed to promote digital security (https://dss380.org), fact-checking,  Internet freedom and digital rights (netfreedom.org,ua) for journalists and civil society.

In Nov 2017 he was listed by Visegrad Fund, Financial Times, Google and ProPublica in New Europe 100: Eastern Europe’s emerging technology stars representing Ukraine. Vitalii has conducted more than 400 training sessions and public talks on the issues of technologies for civil society, innovations for media and multimedia. His professional interests include technologies, digital communication, social media, cyber security.

How to do Solutions Journalism

Compared to the traditional watchdog role of the media, Solutions Journalism is more of a guide dog for the public–reporting on what institutions and society are doing right.
In this workshop you will learn the nitty-gritty about how to do solutions journalism, including where to look for solutions stories, how to structure a solutions story and how to prepare a good solutions story pitch.

Writing a great pitch–editorial mentoring

Do you have a COVID related story idea? Would you like to see if it could become  solutions journalism material? In this practical workshop  our expert editors will guide you through the process of turning the idea into a strong pitch that can get you published.

Speakers

Jeremy Druker is the executive director and editor in chief of Transitions, which has made solutions journalism a central part of its editorial strategy. He has led solutions journalism workshops throughout Central and Eastern Europe. He is also founder/CEO of Press Start, a crowdfunding platform that supports journalists in countries where the press cannot report freely. Jeremy is a member of the supervisory board of the Czech Journalism Prizes and has been an Ashoka Fellow since 2010.

Lucie Černá leads Transitions’ program promoting solutions journalism in Central and Eastern Europe and coordinates activities supporting solutions-oriented reporting in more than 10 countries. She has been involved in the topic since 2017, and acts as a trainer and mentor helping journalists in the Central and Eastern Europe region to bring a solutions lens to their reporting practice. In October 2019, Lucie became a Solutions Journalism Network LEDE Fellow. Prior to joining Transitions, she worked for Ashoka and Greenpeace.

How to debunk disinformation effectively – practical webinar

Logic is the best vaccine for COVID-19 disinformation. This workshop is designed for journalists, journalism students, and aspiring fact-checkers who want to get hands-on experience in debunking myths related to the virus. You’ll get to work with regional examples of disinformation and practice how to effectively analyze and debunk myths and other conspiracies.

This event will be held in Russian. See below for translation.

Speaker

Vitalii Moroz works as a Head of New Media at Internews Ukraine, one of the leading media NGO in Ukraine. Previously, he worked as a Program manager at Freedom House, Kyiv office, where he managed election monitoring, voter education and watchdog programs. At Internews Ukraine ,Vitalii is responsible for strategy planning and implementation of new technology and media projects. Today he oversees programs aimed to promote digital security (https://dss380.org), fact-checking, Internet freedom and digital rights (netfreedom.org,ua) for journalists and civil society.

In Nov 2017 he was listed by Visegrad Fund, Financial Times, Google and ProPublica in New Europe 100: Eastern Europe’s emerging technology stars representing Ukraine. Vitalii has conducted more than 400 training sessions and public talks on the issues of technologies for civil society, innovations for media and multimedia. His professional interests include technologies, digital communication, social media, cyber security.

Вебинар: Охладить эмоции или практические подходы в разоблачении дезинформации для журналистов

Когда: среда, 20 января 2020 года, 17:00-18:45 (EST+3)
Длительность вебинара: 1 час 45 минут

Если Вы журналист из Украины, Молдовы или Беларуси, приглашаем Вас принять участие в бесплатном семинаре с журналистом «Інтерньюз-Україна» Виталием Морозом о развенчании мифов.

Логика – лучшая вакцина от дезинформации связанной с COVID-19. Наш семинар предназначен для журналистов, студентов журналистики и начинающих специалистов по проверке фактов, которые хотят научиться развенчивать мифы, связанные с вирусом.

Эти семинары являются частью более крупного интеграционного курса «Освещение COVID-19: Проверка фактов и информирование о решениях», где профессиональные и начинающие журналисты и лица, занимающиеся проверкой фактов, знакомятся с лучшими практиками освещения пандемии. Если вы зарегистрируетесь для участия в этом мероприятии, то получите бесплатный доступ к следующим семинарам.

Віталій Мороз останні роки працював керівником програм нових медіа в ГО “Інтерньюз-Україна”, де був відповідальним за розвиток інноваційних освітніх проектів для журналістів та громадянського суспільства, зокрема, проекти з адвокації вільного інтернету в Україні та Школу цифрової безпеки DSS380.

Раніше він працював як менеджер проектів в київському офісі міжнародної організації «Freedom House», де опікувався проектами спостереження та освітніх ініціатив під час виборів, а також проектами контролю за діями влади.

За першою освітою – політолог, отримав ступінь бакалавра і магістра політології в Національному університеті «Києво-Могилянська Академія». У 2014 році Віталій Мороз здобув ступінь магістра журналістики в Emerson College, Boston, де він навчався за Програмою імені Фулбрайта. Під час навчання він захистив магістерський диплом на тему впливу соціальних медіа на антиурядові протести в Україні в 2013-2014 рр.

У листопаді 2017 він увійшов до списку New Europe 100 інноваторів Центрально-Східної Європи від The Financial Times, Google, Res Publica та Visegrad Fund.

Провів більше 400 навчань, тренінгових сесій, публічних виступів на тему технологій для громадянського суспільства, інновацій для ЗМІ, мультимедіа. Його професійні інтереси включають питання технологій, цифрових комунікацій, соцмереж та кібербезпеки. Віталія можна знайти в Твітері: @insider_ua та @vitaliymoroz (анг.)

 

This project is funded by the Central European Initiative, with co-financing from the National Endowment for Democracy and the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.