Based on the central tenet that information is the opposite of disinformation, the #CoronavirusFacts project leverages the pivotal role of freedom of expression and access to information to address information needs in times of COVID-19 and to tackle the massive wave of disinformation which threatens to impact democracy, sustainable development and stability around the world.
Funded by the European Union, the project supports professional, diverse and independent media’s capacity to report on the pandemic; strengthens local fact-checking organisations to debunk misinformation; and empowers youth and other citizens to critically process what they read and hear linked to COVID-19 through training in media and information literacy.
Entitled “#CoronavirusFacts: Addressing the ‘Disinfodemic’ on COVID-19 in conflict-prone environments”, the project aims to strengthen citizens’ resilience to COVID-related disinformation and thus contribute to the achievement of the SDG target 16.10.
Specifically, it works towards the following outcomes:
- Media professionally and effectively share lifesaving information and debunk disinformation on COVID-19 in conflict-prone environments;
- Citizens make-evidence based decisions about their health, as well as critically engage to prevent the COVID-19 ‘disinfodemic’ and its impact on peace and stability.
|April 2020||- 14 October 2021|
Global project with focus on 4 regions (Latin America & the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, East & Horn of Africa, and West Africa) and 9 target countries (Afghanistan, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Mozambique, Senegal, and Zimbabwe).
EU Instrument contributing to Peace and Stability (IcsP)
Resource Center of responses to COVID-19 (in 7 languages)
Resources on actions to support Media, enhance access to information, and leverage digital technologies in the fight against the pandemic here.
Countering COVID-19 disinformation in Latin America and the Caribbean
PortalCheck.org is the first digital platform in Latin America and the Caribbean aimed at collecting resources to face the effects of disinformation linked to the COVID-19 pandemic in the region. Accessible in English, Portuguese and Spanish.
Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Journalism in a Pandemic: COVID-19 now and in the future
Entitled “Journalism in a pandemic: Covering COVID-19 now and in the future” the MOOC has been launched by UNESCO and WHO and organized by the Knight Centre for Journalism in the Americas and at the University of Texas, Austin. Read the article
The course can now be accessed as a Self-Directed Course in over 7 languages here.
Massive Open Online course (MOOC): Covering the COVID-19 Vaccine, What Journalists Need to Know
The course ‘Covering the Covid-19 Vaccine: What Journalists Need to Know’, now available in a self-directed format, is a joint collaboration between UNESCO, UNDP, WHO and the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin. Examining the challenges of the vaccine rollout such as the science of the vaccine development, policies of acquisition and questions of equity, vaccine hesitancy, anti-vaccination activism and mis- and disinformation against vaccines. Read the article on the launch.
Access the Self-Directed versions of the course in multiple languages here.
Webinar : Covering the COVID-19 Vaccines
This multilingual webinar, "Covering the COVID-19 Vaccines: What Journalists Need to Know" offers up best practices for journalists covering the vaccines, particularly with regard to vaccine distribution and the science behind the vaccines. It was organized by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, in partnership with UNESCO and the World Health Organization.
Massive Open Online course (MOOC): Disinformation & Fact-Checking in Times of COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean
The interactive course ‘Disinformation & Fact-checking in Times of COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean’, now available in a self-directed format, is a joint collaboration between UNESCO and the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin. This course designed for journalists, reporters, editors, photographers, designers, advertisers, communication students and media researchers is open to anyone interested in combating the wave of misinformation and disinformation that has spread during the pandemic.
The course can now be accessed in a Self-Directed format in Spanish, Portuguese and Guaraní.
Media and Information Literacy resources
Audio resources that can be freely used by radio stations from around the world to counter COVID-19 disinformation
Visuals for social media campaign to counter disinformation on COVID-19
Paris Peace Forum
The project was one of two UNESCO projects featured at the Paris Peace Forum in November 2020. Read more here
World Press Freedom Day Conference 2021 – ‘Emergency measures to fight disinformation and support media hit by COVID-19’
During the 2021 World Press Freedom Day Conference, the session ‘Emergency measures to fight disinformation and support media hit by COVID-19’ showcased, examined the lessons learned and shared best practices on how international organizations and media stakeholders can effectively support media hit by COVID-19 and address the widespread ‘disinfodemic’ that has accompanied the global pandemic.
Introduced by the European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, the session included cases from the #CoronavirusFacts project in Haiti, Iraq, and Latin America and the Carribean.
Other experiences were shared by the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, and from EU-funded projects implemented by Internews and a consortium of organizations including Free Press Unlimited, International Media Support, Deutsche Welle Akademie, Fondation Hirondelle, Article 19 and Reporters without Borders.
Conference on Countering online disinformation and hate speech to foster peace – co-organised by the #CoronavirusFacts project
On the International Day of Peace and ahead of the Universal Access to Information Day, UNESCO organized the conference ‘Countering online disinformation and hate speech to foster peace’ with the support of the European Union. Through the experience gained from the implementation of two EU-funded projects during the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference examined pressing global issues of social media content governance to counter online hate speech and disinformation. Read the article on the conference and watch the recordings of all sessions here.
In a session specifically dedicated to sharing insights and lessons learned from the #CoronavirusFacts project, stakeholders and partners from across the world reflected on how resilience against conflict and tensions exacerbated by crisis has been strengthened as a result of the project and testified to the power of new formed partnerships.
Session on the #CoronavirusFacts project:
Video screened about the project: