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The COVID-19 pandemic has produced one of the unprecedented relationships between public health issues and media reportage. Accordingly, a key highlight which was underscored within this unexpected pandemic period is the infodemics churned out in the various media cycles. Infodemics is defined by the World Health Organization as an influx of information, some true, some not, that makes it difficult for people to identify trustworthy sources and dependable guidance when they need it, and which comprises outbreak response and information on a disease, its spread, and prevention. At the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, the information widely disseminated both online and offline were mostly devoid of proof because of the novelty of the virus, and it has been a gargantuan task to correct and demystify public information based on perception, beliefs and other non-scientific evidence about the virus.
As Science Journalists, interpreting the science and facts behind pandemics and infectious diseases for the public offers several challenges owing to difficulty in assessing high-quality and reliable information, collaborating with the credible sources (scientists and researchers) to
communicate and share their discoveries, as well as the emergence of digital platforms and social media platforms that allow anybody to publish information without any proof. To keep everyone safe and aid in the fight against pandemics, we must first combat infodemics.
This two-day virtual workshop, organized by The COVID-19 Diary programme, will focus on how science journalists, health journalists, communicators, higher education communities, and policymakers can engage with scientists and researchers to combat infodemics and infectious diseases, as well as create and implement strategies and solutions to this problem.
ABOUT THE COVID-19 DIARY
The COVID-19 Diary aims to build on the existing Association of African Universities Television (AAU TV) initiative to promote science engagement in Africa by strengthening collaborations between science journalists, health journalists, communicators, higher education communities, researchers, policymakers, and the general public. Its ultimate goal is to create credible and effective scientific communication narratives and media products on emerging infectious diseases like COVID-19.
AIM – To promote capacity building among African science journalists in the management of infodemics and pandemics.
• Identify the roles of scientists, researchers, and science journalists in the fight against pandemics.
• Develop methods for evaluating and assessing trustworthy and high-quality information on digital platforms.
• Examine strategies for combating and managing with infodemics, as well as pandemic challenges.
• Develop strategies in promoting health literacy in the public and engaging them during pandemics.
Participants should be able to do the following after the workshop:
• Distinguish between scientifically credible information and fake information on digital platforms.
• Discover the best methods for locating the top information sources, experts, specialists, and professionals.
• Adequately interpret scientific concept, facts, and numbers in context for public understanding.
• Apply the knowledge acquired from this workshop to assist in disseminating factual information on health-related issues without difficulty.
• Build networks among themselves as researchers, scientists, science journalists, communicators, health journalists, policymakers, etc.
• Role of science journalists, scientists, and researchers in fighting infodemics.
• Skills and tools needed to verify online content.
• Guidance in writing and reporting the science of pandemics and infectious diseases.
• Strategies in using new media to fight infodemics.
• How to engage the community and gain their interest in factual news.
This workshop is open to everyone, especially:
• Science Journalists
• Health Journalists
• Policy Makers
• News & Media Organizations
• Health Experts
• Higher Education Communities,
Interested participants are to register via: https://bit.ly/39q9CSA
For more information on the workshop please write to:
AAU TV via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and copy Isabella Tetteh Ahinakwa (email@example.com)