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. To find funding opportunities for coronavirus reporting projects, visit our guide to COVID-19 reporting grants.
Reporting Tip Sheets
- COVID-19: Poynter Resources (Poynter). Here, you can sign up for Poynter’s three free daily coronavirus newsletters and also access a compilation of articles with tips and resources to help reporters accurately and clearly cover COVID-19.
- “Covering COVID-19? These TON Resources May Help” (The Open Notebook). The nonprofit science journalism organization The Open Notebook has compiled all of its articles relevant to pandemic coverage in one place, spanning general advice on fact-checking and healthcare coverage to a roundtable on managing pandemic coverage featuring editors from Scientific American, Vox, Science and others.
- COVID-19 Resources for Reporters (Sciline). The page includes a series of web panels for reporters covering the pandemic. Topics covered so far include the science of social isolation, information about how the virus spreads, contact tracing, and the effect of the virus on vulnerable populations.
- “Key terms every journalist should know when covering COVID-19” (The International Journalists’ Network). This alphabetical list provides simple, concise definitions of many terms associated with COVID-19 coverage.
- Webinar Series: Investigating the Pandemic (The Global Investigative Journalism Network). GIJN’s archive of coronavirus-focused webinars covers a range of topics related to reporting on the pandemic, including mental health, financial, and remote reporting advice. Upcoming webinar dates and links are also posted here.
- “Coronavirus: Resources for Reporters” (First Draft). This collection of journalism tools and guides — from a global nonprofit that aims to address challenges relating to trust and truth in the digital age — includes a list of credible information sources, journalism FAQs, and a free online course for journalists covering the pandemic, among other resources.
- “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 multiple 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
- “Covering Coronavirus: Resources for Journalists” (Columbia University’s Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma). This list of trauma reporting resources with an emphasis on COVID-19 includes resources in both English and Chinese as well as an up-to-date list of hardship and emergency funds for journalists.
- “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.
- “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
- “Documenting COVID-19,” a collaborative open-records project started at Columbia University’s Brown Institute for Media, hosts a repository of searchable documents related to the COVID-19 pandemic obtained through state open-records laws and the Freedom of Information Act. As of July 21, 2020, 62 document sets were available.
- 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. As of April 15, this project also includes a COVID Racial Data Tracker, in partnership with the Antiracist Research and Policy Center.
- 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.
- The California Healthy Places Index, run by the Public Health Alliance of Southern California. The index has recently been updated to include statistics on COVID-19 deaths by Race/Ethnicity, COVID-19 associated health risk factors, and other information relating to the pandemic’s impacts on California communities.
- COVID-19 Projections by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, an independent global health research center at the University of Washington. This site provides country-by-country (and state by state) visualizations of metrics like infections, deaths, number of tests, and social distancing measures over time.
- Our World in Data’s more than 200 Coronavirus Country Profiles were built by a team of researchers based at the University of Oxford, in the U.K.
Finding Papers and Experts
- Sciline’s “Quotes from Experts on COVID-19,” has compiled ready-to-use quotes for reporters working on deadline. Sciline also provides a free expert-finding service.
- 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