COVID-19 – Fighting ‘infodemic’ and social stigma through community media in India

Among the uncertain flow of information on the internet, messaging has emerged as a key tool towards controlling the spread of the global health crisis. With the aim of fighting ‘infodemic’, UNESCO and Maraa’s project Strengthening Community Media Crisis Preparedness and Response in India have launched a national network of community radio stations.
The newly created network is expected to counter the spread of COVID-19 through awareness raising, encouraging solidarity within community groups, accountability and transparency. As part of this initiative, 13 community radio stations across India have been connected, with a collective reach of over 40 million people, especially the tribal and marginalized population. The network, which covers 12 Indian States and seven regional languages, is strengthening collaboration to respond to the coronavirus outbreak through online meetings and learning mechanisms.

The learning sessions focus on the following issues:

ensuring support to and accountability of local authorities;
creating a network of local reporters from active listeners;
addressing issues of gender violence, emotional and psychological counselling and countering misinformation.