UNESCO experts led young media influencers to promote COVID-19 awareness campaign for community safety and fighting Disinfodemic

The community has an urgent need to raise awareness related to the pandemic. The UNESCO Iraq office have engaged various sources of media to prevent misinformation circulating across different social media that exist in the world today.


The CI sector led 93 young media leaders from different institutions and governorates of Iraq to work hands-on as a team. Their mission is to provide the community with important information needed for their overall health and safety related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to show them how to use the Fact-Checking Tool (FCT) for information related to COVID-19.


“Misinformation among social media users and the public is rising as fast as the COVID-19 cases, and therefore, journalists and developers play a critical role in helping to bring evidence-based facts to light,” Ayad Khudiar, head of Media Monitoring Institution, said.


This training course developed by UNESCO aims to enhance the safety of journalists and equip them with new techniques and measures to prevent the pandemic and to find better ways of identifying misinformation.


“Through this online training, we gained better insights on pandemic basics, and learned vital information related to the fact-checking learning module. A similar strategy was quickly adapted for the second training-learning module on COVID-19 awareness,” Hathim Hasan, head of Baghdad Youth and Sport Directorate, said.


Trainees were introduced to different aspects of COVID-19, including its virology, epidemiological principles involved in its transmission, prevention, and a special focus on the disinformation around this phenomenon. Participants were required to take initiatives to help educate the community via media outlets and social media projects.


Ali Jabar, one of the young social media influencers, said, “I will share a social understanding of with what I have learned from UNESCO about the pandemic via my 60K Facebook page, so people could understand it in the best way possible.”


Mena Saad asserted that she has learned a lot about the severity of the coronavirus, and she now feels more informed and aware of what she can do to play her part as an employee in the Ministry of Sport and Youth.