The global spread of Coronavirus has been accompanied by a germinating mass of misinformation and myths.
The virus has travelled rapidly to reach pandemic status. Concern is natural and it is easy to latch on sound bites that find life on the multiple platforms now delivering a torrent of news and information.
From rinsing your nose regularly with saline or spraying your body with alcohol, the urban counter-measures are flowing freely — which makes it ever more important to stick to the journalists’ mantra: FACTS ARE SACRED.
The Medical Journalists’ Association believes the advice from the Chief Medical Officer for England, Public Health England and the World Health Organisation is critical to our health and the accurate reporting of Coronavirus.
The government slogan of ‘Protect Yourself & Others’ also applies to how we report this responsibly. The links below are good sources to anchor writing and broadcasting in solid statistics and information.
Members of the MJA and our colleagues at the Science Media Centre may be able to provide informed comment and content in addition to these trusted sources:
Expert comments about the UK response:
Help us spread the word
- HAVE YOU FOUND ANOTHER GOOD SOURCE OF COVID-19 INFORMATION?
- HAVE YOU RECEIVED ANY IRRESPONSIBLE CORONAVIRUS RELATED PRESS RELEASES?
- WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE BIT OF ADVICE? OR TOP TIP ON HAND-WASHING?
Please add your thoughts and updates via comments at the end of this post
By Danny Buckland
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The Committee to Protect Journalists has some useful links and tips for anyone covering the epidemic
The World Federation of Science Journalists say: We are trying to curate sites that include primary information, contacts, data, scientific papers, etc. into a central, searchable, site with the goal of assisting journalists trying to cover this important global story. Further, we want to share best practice, common pitfalls, and other advice from experienced journalists with all of our colleagues.
You can see our pre-launch site here: https://wfsj-briefing.org/
Resources for journalists and the research community from Wiley
Wiley has made more than 5,000 COVID-19 related articles freely available in support of the global efforts in its diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Last month, Wiley joined Wellcome Trust in the commitment to ensuring rapid access to COVID-19 research. The company continues to partner with those in the research community aiding in the global response. Wiley’s COVID-19 related articles are hosted on an enhanced Wiley Online Library site.
Additionally, Scitrus, powered by Atypon’s AI-driven personalized discovery application, launched a free, real-time feed of the latest research and news on COVID-19.
For further information contact
Update from AlphaGalileo
ACCESS TO COVID-19 NEWS
We have created a Covid-19 category that will link to all the material we already have and which will be added to the Service. To see all the material under this category use the link at the top of the Home Page before ‘Science’.
Journalists have had the new keyword added to their alert preferences. If this is not relevant to your work it can be removed by going to your preferences in ‘My Area’.
NORMAL SERVICE FROM ALPHAGALILEO
During these difficult times AlphaGalileo will provide its usual round the clock service. The site is fully manned during European office hours with skeleton cover in the evenings, early morning and weekend.
WFSC COVID-19 BRIEFING SITE
AlphaGalileo is linked to the WFSJ Covid-19 briefing site here or from the link on the right-hand side of our home page.
Crowdtangle (social network monitoring and content discovery tool)
have developed some tools that may be of interest:
A new Coronavirus display for UK
to help monitor information in real time. They also have displays for 50 other countries.
A new Search surface –
now with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit. And it has country filters for Facebook, so you can limit to eg Coronavirus posts in UK: see example.
They are running a Coronavirus class online (Zoom sign up)
this Wednesday 25th at 14:00 UK time showing how to find stories “good and bad”. That is both the amazing acts of kindess in communities but also the false rumours and misinformation that are spreading, and how to trace the source. Please RSVP here to receive the link. https://www.crowdtangle.com/resources/signup/426
Interview with MJA member Shaun Lintern on covering Coronavirus