In times of the COVID-19 pandemic, professional news media have acted as a guardian of public interest. They are an important component of the checks and balances that form part of public safety. By fighting disinformation and the misinfodemic and disseminating trusted information to citizens, the news media enables citizen participation in health development and strengthens accountability of feedback mechanisms in the health sector. Citizens cannot be safe in the absence of crucial information and knowledge about the pandemic, which well-trained journalists are better placed to provide.
In this context and in the context of the EU-funded project on “#CoronavirusPandemicFacts – Addressing the Covid-19 disinfodemic in conflict prone environments”, UNESCO Iraq office held the third online training for 40 Kurdish journalists.
In the two-day training, the trainees focused on a range of factors that are transforming the communications landscape, raising questions about the impact and credibility of journalism in such crises.
The training explored UNESCO’s efforts to develop the basic guidelines for ‘Fake News’ and disinformation, and to assist journalists in covering news about the pandemic, including in the Kurdistan region.
The training is designed to be used as an entire course or can be used in ways tailored to suit the media landscape and the needs of journalism at the local level.