Are we creating an infodemic of our own?

The World Health Organization has referred to the ‘infodemic’; an avalanche of information about COVID-19 that can make it difficult for consumers to sort fact from fiction. In response, media organisations around the world have responded with helpful guides. Dos and Don’ts of reporting in these difficult times. We will point you towards the best of them. But it left us thinking, are we creating an infodemic of our own? 

In these difficult times, quality journalism is as vital as ever and so is going back to the fundamentals of our craft. We liked the advice coming from the Ethical Journalism Network in their tweet thread recently. 

Focus on key principles:

  • Truth and accuracy, independence, fairness, and impartiality, humanity and accountability
  • Be accurate and report facts, avoid speculation
  • Don’t sensationalize or stigmatize 
  • Do not disclose names, images or identifying material of patients
  • Seek the opinion of relevant experts with medical and scientific credentials

And of course, look after yourselves, and your colleagues. This Dart Center for Journalism is hosting weekly online conversations about the challenges of reporting during the crisis. Sign up to our e-bulletin to find out about online training opportunities for journalists hosted in local languages across the Asia-Pacific region.

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