Covering COVID-19: verifying facts & reporting on solutions

Date: December 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Location: Online

Thanks 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. 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.

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.

Upcoming workshops

Following the live sessions 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 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 the workshops.

If you are from the Balkans:

Session 3: Tuesday, Dec. 1 2:00PM (GMT+1)

Countering the infodemic – best practices and ideas generator REGISTER NOW!

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.

Session 4: Tuesday, Dec. 8 4:00PM (GMT+1)

Reporting on solutions – practical workshop

Session 5: Tuesday, Dec. 15 4:00PM (GMT+1)

Writing a great pitch – editorial mentoring

If you are from Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova:

Session 3: Wednesday, Dec, 2 4:00PM (GMT+1)

Countering the infodemic – best practices and ideas generator REGISTER NOW!

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.

Session 4: Wednesday, Dec. 9 4:00PM (GMT+1)

Reporting on solutions – practical workshop

Session 5: Wednesday, Dec. 15 4:00PM (GMT+1)

Writing a great pitch – editorial mentoring

 

Past Webinars

Live Session 2: 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 a communications person 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.

Live Session 1: Countering Covid Infodemic, Innovative approaches in debunking myths

Date of first session: Wednesday 18 Nov. 2020, 4:00PM (GMT+1)

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.

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.