UNESCO Iraq develops an online training for journalists on COVID-19 vaccines

Based on the Knight Center’s new MOOC, “Covering the COVID-19 vaccine: What journalists need to know.” UNESCO Iraq office developed a special online training course for journalists. During this training course, participants learned how to improve their coverage on COVID-19 and the vaccine. Participants heard from leading science journalists and medical experts that discussed the efficacy of different vaccine formulas, the distribution of vaccines while sharing tips for dispelling disinformation and misinformation when covering the vaccines, and much more.


A training course on ” Covering the COVID-19 vaccine: What journalists need to know ” was held in Baghdad from 20-21 June under the auspices of UNESCO, based on the Knight Center’s new MOOC developed by UNESCO HQ as a result of the misinformation and fake news that accompany the COVID-19 pandemic.


The additional Iraqi training course to counter the pandemic was held with the participation of 150 journalists (77 female) from all governorates of Iraq and KRI, representing different types of media: print media (newspapers, magazines), broadcast media (TV, radio), outdoor or out of home (OOH) media, internet (social media).


Participants were given a two-day intensive training course by trainers and experts from UNESCO, including several methods and techniques on online learning, and the use of interactive training platforms that simulate realistic training sessions and pre/post training questionnaires.



UNESCO Iraq Office supports this initiative in the context of the #CoronavirusFacts: Addressing the ‘Disinfodemic’ on COVID-19 in conflict-prone environments project funded by the EU in terms of responding to the COVID-19 crises. This was one of a series of activities that is implemented by UNESCO Iraq Office, within the framework of protecting Iraqi journalists and raising awareness of the implications of misinformation and disinformation.



About the #CoronavirusFacts: Addressing the ‘Disinfodemic’ on COVID-19 in conflict-prone environments:


Based on the central tenet that information is the opposite of disinformation, the #CoronavirusFacts project leverages the pivotal role of freedom of expression and access to information to address information needs in times of COVID-19 and to tackle the massive wave of disinformation which threatens to impact democracy, sustainable development and stability around the world.

Funded by the European Union, the project supports professional, diverse and independent media’s capacity to report on the pandemic; strengthens local fact-checking organisations to debunk misinformation; and empowers youth and other citizens to critically process what they read and hear linked to COVID-19 through training in media and information literacy.

Entitled “#CoronavirusFacts: Addressing the ‘Disinfodemic’ on COVID-19 in conflict-prone environments”, the project aims to strengthen citizens’ resilience to COVID-related disinformation and thus contribute to the achievement of the SDG target 16.10.

Specifically, it works towards the following outcomes:

Media professionally and effectively share lifesaving information and debunk disinformation on COVID-19 in conflict-prone environments;
Citizens make-evidence based decisions about their health, as well as critically engage to prevent the COVID-19 ‘disinfodemic’ and its impact on peace and stability.

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