Journalism in a pandemic: Covering COVID-19 now and in the future (MOOC)

When :

from Monday 4 May, 2020
to Sunday 31 May, 2020

Type of event :

Category 7-Seminar and Workshop

Where :

MOOC, Austin, Texas, United States of America

UNESCO and World Health Organization launched a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) “Journalism in a pandemic: Covering COVID-19 now and in the future”, organized by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin.

The MOOC, which received the support from the Knight Foundation and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), is a four-week online training programme aiming at providing journalists with the necessary knowledge and tools to cover the COVID-19 health crisis, and the social, financial and political consequences it entails. The MOOC will be offered simultaneously in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French.

Divided into four weekly modules, the online course will notably cover the past history of pandemics and disasters in the 20th century and how governments responded to these outbreaks. It will also examine the unfolding of the 2020 pandemic and the fundamental importance of fostering freedom of expression, as well as detecting and combating disinformation and misinformation about the pandemic. The final module will look at story angles for moving coverage forward, and will discuss the importance of journalists’ self-care in the process of covering the outbreak. Each module includes a series of videos, PowerPoint presentations, readings, quizzes and discussion forums dealing with specific aspects of the course. The Spanish, Portuguese and French versions of the course will be taught by high-profile instructors.

During the times of crisis such as the current Covid-19 outbreak is it even more important that the public have access to reliable and timely information, and journalists have a key role to play to make the rights to freedom of expression, which include press freedom and access to public information, a reality for all citizens. The online course “Journalism in a pandemic: Covering COVID-19 now and in the future, will give journalists from all over the world additional tools, materials and access to specialists to offer quality information on the current crisis and its aftermath. The MOOC will also have the potential to create a network of media professionals and community that can share ideas and information on the best way to cover the outbreaks and combat disinformation.