Covering Coronavirus: Resources for Journalists
English and Chinese-language resources for journalists covering the coronavirus epidemic, including tips on covering disease, interviewing victims and survivors, and working with colleagues exposed to traumatic events.
More than three million people have been infected with coronavirus disease (COVID-19), fueling a worldwide pandemic. As of this writing, at least 200,000 people have died.
As the numbers continue to rise, we have assembled resources for journalists on covering disaster and epidemic, interviewing victims and survivors, and working with colleagues exposed to traumatic events in English and Chinese. We have also added resources from our colleagues, including safety advisories, reporting tips and funding opportunities.
Dart Center Resources
English Language Resources
- Tips on covering the 2009 swine-flu outbreak from John Pope, a reporter and former Center for Disease Control Fellow with decades of experience working with health issues.
- "Tragedies & Journalists": the Dart Center's comprehensive guide for reporters, editors, photographers and managers on every aspect of reporting tragedy.
- Guidance on working with emergency services from Dr. Anne Eyre, specialist in trauma and disaster management.
- Reporting and Covid-19: a series of deep dives with authoritative experts, news innovators and journalistic colleagues navigating the crisis at the local, regional and global level - sharing lessons learned, common struggles and innovative approaches. A companion tip sheet is available here.
- How Journalists Can Deal with Trauma while Reporting on Covid-19: GIJN spoke with Dart's Bruce Shapiro and Cait McMahon about how trauma reporting guidelines apply during a pandemic.
- "Best Practices in Trauma Reporting," drawn from a decade of Dart Award-winning stories.
- Scientific consensus, made readable, on the effects of traumatic coverage on journalists and on media consumers.
- Dart Centre Asia Pacific's self care tips for news personnel exposed to traumatic events, staff care tips for their managers and editors and reporting tips for dealing with victims of tragedy.
- Dart Centre Asia Pacific's Kimina Lyall shares tips for reporting on pandemics, and staff care tips for news managers.
- Recovery from Unnatural Death: A guide by psychiatrist Ted Rynearson for friends and family of someone who has died suddenly.
- Tips on how to deal with people caught up in tragic events.
- Tips for managers and editors to help them prepare and support reporters in the field.
- Tips on working with traumatic imagery.
- Filmmaker Rebecca Prosser, who was arrested in Indonesia in 2015 while working on a documentary film, shares advice on living in lockdown.
- Cameraman Edward Lawrence, who has worked in China since the January, shares practical tips for video journalists.
- Jo Healey, a senior BBC News journalist, shares tips on how to handle sensitive remote interviews.
- Dart Award winner and Ochberg Fellow Rachel Dissell shares story ideas: How can journalists start thinking about aftermath when there is no end in sight?
- Judith Matloff, the Dart Center's Senior Advisor for Safety Training, outlines how to safely cover street protests during the pandemic.
Chinese Language Resources
Resources from Colleagues
- Committee to Protect Journalists
- First Draft News
- Freedom of the Press Foundation: How can journalists work from home securely?
- Frontline Freelance Register: Reporting safely and ethically on the Coronavirus pandemic,
- Global Investigative Journalism Network: Tips for covering COVID-19
- International Journalists Network
- Society of Professional journalists: Journalist’s Tool box
- World Health Organization: travel advisories, tips for protecting yourself and media resources
Hardship and Emergency Funds
Compiled in part by our colleagues at ACOS Alliance
- Authors’ Emergency Fund
Grants of up to £2,000 for professional authors, including journalists, who are resident in the UK or British subjects.
Canon Female Photojournalist Grant
Open to female photojournalists anywhere in the world covering social, economic, political or cultural subjects. The €8,000 grant is given to an “outstanding photographer in recognition of her contribution to photojournalism”
- Coronavirus Rolling Grant, Fund for Investigative Journalism
Provides immediate emergency grants to U.S.-based freelance investigative journalists working on stories on the coronavirus that break new ground and expose wrongdoing in the public or private sector.
- Facebook News Industry Support
Facebook has announced $25 million in emergency grant funding for local news through the Facebook Journalism Project (FJP) and $75 million in additional marketing spend to move money over to news organizations around the world. FJP’s COVID-19 Community Network Grant Program has already granted $5,000 dollars each to 50 local newsrooms across the US and Canada in its first round of funding.
- Film and TV COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund
One-off grants from £500 to £2,500 to active workers in film, TV and cinema facing significant financial hardship as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.
- Format: The Photographer Fund
Offers assistance of up to $500 per person to self-employed photographers who are facing financial hardship because of the coronavirus.
- Freelance Audio Fund
Emergency relief to the professional audio community. You must be an AIR (Association of Independents in Radio) member to qualify. AIR is working to release a second phase through which funds will be made available to non-AIR members and small newsrooms.
- Fund for Investigative Journalists
Grants average $5,000 but can be as high as $10,000. They cover out-of-pocket expenses such as travel, document collection, and equipment rental. FIJ also considers requests for small stipends.
- Google News Initiative: Global Emergency Relief Fund for local news
Apply for funds via a simple application form.
- IWMF Journalism Relief Fund
Open to women-identifying journalists who have faced significant financial hardship, lost work, were recently laid off or who urgently need assistance. The fund will provide grants of up to $2,000 USD per request.
- National Geographic COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Journalists
The fund will distribute support ranging from $1,000–8,000 USD for local coverage of the preparation, response, and impact of this global pandemic as seen through evidence-based reporting.
- Pulitzer Center: Coronavirus News Collaboration Challenge
This grant opportunity is now open, and applications will be reviewed on a first-come, rolling basis.
- Reporters Respond
A fund for media professionals who suffering financially, funds are available to help media professionals during the COVID-19 crisis
- Rory Peck Trust COVID-19 Hardship Fund
Launched to provide financial support to freelance journalists whose only source of income is from journalism and who are unable to access any assistance (governmental, non-governmental) in their country of residence.
- #ShowUs Grant, Getty Images
Open to women, female-identifying and non-binary commercial photographers and videographers who have been shooting for less than five years.
- Solutions Journalism Grant, The Gabo Foundation and the Open Society Foundations
Seven grants for journalists in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua of up to US$3,400 each, to investigative projects in print, radio/podcast, audiovisual or digital formats.
- US Freelancers Relief Fund
Offers financial assistance of up to $1,000 per freelance household to cover lost income and essential expenses not covered by government relief programs.
- Women Photograph Emergency Fund
Open to independent women and non-binary photographers who have been impacted by the coronavirus.
- Writers’ Emergency Fund, PEN America
Grants of $500 to $1,000 to US-based journalists, authors and other professional writers who can demonstrate an inability to meet an acute financial need, especially one resulting from the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Last updated: April 29, 2020