The COVID-19 crisis is unfolding at a rapid pace, with new cases, new research, and new societal impacts materializing every day. To help reporters find clear, accurate information about the pandemic — and report on it responsibly — KSJ has compiled the following collection of resources and tools. We will be updating this page regularly.
Reporting Tip Sheets
- “Covering the Coronavirus Epidemic Effectively Without Spreading Misinformation” (The Open Notebook). Laura Helmuth, writing from her perspective as health and science editor for The Washington Post, shares tips about responding to misinformation, whom to interview, and more.
- “Tips for Reporting on COVID-19 and Slowing the Spread of Misinformation” (First Draft). Tips focused on accurate reporting, from a global non-profit that aims to address challenges relating to trust and truth in the digital age.
- “10 Tips for Journalists Covering COVID-19” (The International Journalists’ Network). This list by Taylor Mulcahey includes advice on interviewing, writing headlines, and culturally sensitive reporting, among other topics.
- “Tips for Journalists Covering COVID-19” (The Global Investigative Journalism Network). This tip sheet from Miraj Ahmed Chowdhury, the editor of the Global Investigative Journalism Network in Bangla, includes advice on staying safe while reporting, and is available in five languages.
- “Coronavirus Reminds Journalists To Prepare for Public Health Emergencies” (Society of Environmental Journalists). A comprehensive list of tips and resources, from advice on developing story angles to guidance on finding state and local agencies, compiled by Joseph A. Davis
- “How newsrooms can tone down their coronavirus coverage while still reporting responsibly” and “AP Stylebook tips on the Coronavirus” (Poynter). Together, this pair of pieces from Poynter provide a guide to clear, sober reporting.
- “I lived through SARS and reported on Ebola. These are the questions we should be asking about coronavirus” (ProPublica). Caroline Chen, a ProPublica health reporter, mines her past experience for advice on how to report on and write about the novel coronavirus.
- “Covering Coronavirus: Resources for Journalists” (Columbia University’s Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma). This list of trauma reporting resources has an emphasis on COVID-19, and includes resources in both English and Chinese.
- “Covering the coronavirus outbreak” (The Committee to Protect Journalists). Compiled by an international nonprofit, the resource page provides advice on how to stay safe while reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic, including pointers on planning travel and avoiding infection.
- “How journalists can fight stress from covering the coronavirus” (Poynter). This guide includes a video by Journalist Al Tompkins and psychotherapist Sidney Tompkins on how to manage the stress of reporting on coronavirus.
- “Covering COVID-19 Media Briefing,” SciLine. A web panel on best practices for reporting on the pandemic, featuring guests Georges Benjamin of the American Public Health Association, Caroline Chen of ProPublica, and Laura Helmuth of the Washington Post.
- “Coronaviruses: Background and sources for your reporting,” Association of Health Care Journalists. A compilation of tips and resources for journalists thrown into covering the coronavirus.
Finding Reliable Data
- Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center. Maintained at Johns Hopkins’ Center for Systems Science and Engineering, the site uses data from the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the European Center for Disease Prevention, and other sources around the world to track and visualize cases of Covid-19. The platform includes a Covid-19 Map and an alternative data visualization of the data behind the map.
- The World Health Organization’s Covid-19 Dashboard and daily Situation Report.
- Worldometer’s Covid-19 Coronavirus Outbreak page. Run by an international team of developers, researchers, and volunteers, the page draws from sources including the World Health Organization and presents infections statistics broken down by country, age, and other categories.
- The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Cases & Latest Updates page. The page includes at-a-glance statistics on U.S. cases, as well as information about testing and the U.S. government’s response.
- The University of Virginia’s Covid-19 Surveillance Dashboard. Prepared by a division of the University’s Biocomplexity Institute and Initiative, the visualization tool includes county-level statistics for the U.S. and state/province level statistics for Canada, Chile, India, and Germany.
- The New York Times’ coronavirus map. Sourced from state and local health agencies, hospitals, and C.D.C. data, the map shows confirmed cases in the U.S by county.
- The COVID Tracking Project. Started by two Atlantic journalists and the founder of the biotech firm Related Sciences, the COVID Tracking Project collects information from U.S. states, territories, and the District of Columbia to provide comprehensive coronavirus testing data.
- The University of Minnesota’s Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center. The site offers a range of Covid-19 information, curated by the University’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy.
Finding Papers and Experts
- The World Health Organization’s Global research on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) page. This searchable and downloadable database of research publications on the coronavirus disease is updated regularly by WHO.
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 Databases and Journals page. A source for finding scholarly articles about COVID-19, the page includes links to several journals’ COVID-19 resource pages.
- “Covering biomedical research preprints amid the coronavirus: 6 things to know,” (Journalist’s Resource). This suite of tips was compiled from insights of Bill Hanage, associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and John R. Inglis, cofounder of the medRxiv and bioRxiv preprint servers.
- “Tips on finding and vetting experts during a disease outbreak” (Association of Health Care Journalists). Freelance journalist and AHCJ board member Maryn McKenna and Kent State University epidemiologist Tara C. Smith share suggestions for finding qualified experts quickly during a fast-developing health story.
- Lists of expert sources have been compiled by various universities and organizations, including:
- The World Health Organization’s “Myth busters” page. The page debunks common myths surrounding COVID-19.
- AFP’s “Busting coronavirus myths” page. The Paris-based international news agency’s coronavirus fact-checking page is updated frequently and has debunked more than 100 myths about the virus.
- First Draft’s “5 quick ways we can all double-check coronavirus information online.” Among this guide’s resources are tips and tools for verifying images and videos.
- PolitiFact’s “7 ways to avoid misinformation during the coronavirus pandemic.” A guide from The Poynter Institute’s political fact-checking service.
- International Fact-Checking Network’s “CoronaVirusFacts / DatosCoronaVirus Alliance Database.” A database of falsehoods about the novel coronavirus, gathered by an alliance of more than 100 fact-checkers around the world.
- “Mapping coronavirus, responsibly” (ArcGIS Blog). Cartographer Kenneth Field offers advice on how to provide accurate visualizations of the spread of COVID-19. Also, the COVID-19 GIS Hub provides maps, datasets, and applications for mapping the spread of the disease.
- For some examples of effective data visualizations, see:
- “Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to ‘flatten the curve’” (The Washington Post)
- “How Much Worse the Coronavirus Could Get, in Charts” (The New York Times)
Who to Follow
- Helen Branswell (@HelenBranswell), senior writer, infectious diseases, STAT
- Julia Belluz (@juliaoftoronto), health correspondent, Vox
- Roxanne Khamsi (@rkhamsi), freelance science writer and former chief news editor at Nature Medicine
- Tara Haelle (@tarahaelle), senior healthcare contributor, Forbes
- Karin Wahl-Jorgensen (@KarinWahlJ), journalism professor, Cardiff University
- Thomas Abraham (@poliohunt), veteran international health reporter
- Al Tomkins (@atompkins), senior faculty, Poynter
- Jody Lanard (@EIDGeek) former WHO senior pandemic influenza communications advisor.
- Kai Kupferschmidt (@kakape), molecular biologist and science journalist, Science Magazine
- Amy Maxmen (@amymaxmen), senior reporter, Nature
- Trevor Bedford (@trvrb), computational biologist, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle
- Bill Hanage (@BillHanage), associate professor of epidemiology, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health
- Carl T. Bergstrom (@CT_Bergstrom) biologist at the University of Washington.
- Lawrence Gostin (@lawrencegostin), professor of global health law, Georgetown University
- Wendy Mariner (@wendymariner), health law professor, Boston University
- Kaiser Health News, full coronavirus coverage
- ProPublica, full coronavirus coverage
- Nature, full coronavirus coverage
- Science, full coronavirus coverage
- Undark, full coronavirus coverage