Giving it our best shot: what can journalists do to tackle Coronavirus misinformation?

New visualisation of the Covid-19 virus, March 12, 2020

EJN Panel Event: Wednesday January 27 6pm GMT

As vaccines effective against the novel Coronavirus begin their global rollout, tackling misinformation, disinformation and earning public confidence could not be more starkly an issue of life and death.

Join the Ethical Journalism Network for a discussion on Wednesday January 27 at 6pm GMT (1pm EST) and experts to discuss the role of journalists in tackling disinformation, the communicating of public health messages, and online fact-checking during this key phase of response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Chaired by EJN trustee and Bureau of Investigative Journalism global editor James Ball, this event will explore what journalists should do to tackle Coronavirus misinformation, where such myths are coming from, and how reporters can avoid inadvertently becoming vectors for health misinformation.

Our panellists are:

David Spiegelhalter

Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter FRS OBE is Chair of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication in the Centre for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge, which aims to improve the way that statistical evidence is used by health professionals, patients, lawyers and judges, media and policy-makers.  He has been very busy over the COVID crisis.  He presented the BBC4 documentaries “Tails you Win: the Science of Chance”, the award-winning “Climate Change by Numbers”, and in 2011 came 7th in an episode of BBC1’s Winter Wipeout.  His bestselling book, The Art of Statistics, was published in March 2019.   He was knighted in 2014 for services to medical statistics, was President of the Royal Statistical Society (2017-2018), and became a Non-Executive Director of the UK Statistics Authority in 2020.   He is @d_spiegel on Twitter, and his home page is http://www.statslab.cam.ac.uk/~david/

Kate Wilkinson

Kate Wilkinson is deputy chief editor at Africa Check, the continent’s leading fact-checking organisation. She leads the organisation’s work on artificial intelligence and WhatsApp-based fact-checking. Her main research areas include education, migration, crime and viral social media hoaxes. Find her on Twitter: @kateomega

Nina Jankowicz

Nina Jankowicz studies the intersection of democracy and technology in Central and Eastern Europe. She is the author of How To Lose the Information War: Russia, Fake News, and the Future of Conflict (Bloomsbury/IBTauris). Ms. Jankowicz has advised the Ukrainian government on strategic communications under the auspices of a Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellowship. Her writing has been published by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and others.

Anjana Ahuja

Anjana Ahuja is a contributing writer on science for the FT. She was previously a feature writer and columnist at The Times. She also contributes to BBC Newsnight and Prospect. She is co-author of Selected, on the evolution of human leadership, and was named best science commentator in the 2013 Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards. Anjana has a PhD in space physics from Imperial College London, and is a visiting lecturer in science journalism at City University in London.

James Ball 

James Ball is a Pulitzer-prize winning investigative journalist and author, currently working as the global editor at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. He has previously worked at outlets including BuzzFeed News and the Guardian, on projects including the offshore leaks, WikiLeaks war logs, state cables and the NSA leaks from Edward Snowden. He is a trustee of the Ethical Journalism Network and the author of several books, including most recently ‘The System: Who Owns the Internet, and How It Owns Us’.

To attend this event, please email [email protected]