Country for PR: United Kingdom
Contributor: PR Newswire Europe
Tuesday, October 13 2020 - 22:00
New Global Survey Raises Red Flags for Journalism in the COVID-19 Era
LONDON, Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

Results launched today by International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and Tow 
Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University

Facing everything from a barrage of disinformation to heightened security risks 
and a mental health crisis, journalists around the world are contending with 
myriad daunting challenges as they report on a deadly pandemic, according to 
the first results from a global survey on journalism and the COVID-19 crisis.

The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and the Tow Center for Digital 
Journalism at Columbia University launched the Journalism and the Pandemic 
Project in April 2020 to study the impacts on the field worldwide. Based on 
survey responses from more than 1,400 English-speaking journalists in 125 
countries, the first report from the project surfaces alarming obstacles and 
threats confronting journalism during the first stage of the pandemic. 

Among the most troubling findings is the identification of politicians and 
elected officials as top sources of disinformation by nearly half of our 
respondents (46%), highlighting a serious lack of trust in governments. At the 
same time, nearly one-third said they were relying more heavily on government 
sources and official statements to report on the pandemic.

In a related key finding, Facebook was identified as the most prolific spreader 
of disinformation by respondents (66%). Yet 32% said they were more reliant on 
social media platforms to connect with audiences. 

Other red flag-raising findings for journalists covering the ongoing crisis: 

70% of our respondents rated the psychological and emotional impacts of dealing 
with the COVID-19 crisis as the most difficult aspect of their work during the 

30% said that their news organizations had not supplied field reporters with a 
single piece of protective equipment during the first wave of the pandemic.

17% with knowledge of their organizations' financial losses reported that 
revenue was down over 75% since the pandemic began; 43% indicated that revenues 
were down by over half.

81% said they encounter disinformation at least weekly, with more than 
one-quarter (28%) identifying false information many times a day.

20% said their experience of online harassment was "much worse" during the 

48% said their sources had expressed fear of retaliation for speaking to 
journalists during the pandemic. 
But the picture is not all bleak. Despite the challenges, journalists indicated 
that they have some reasons for optimism: 

43% said they felt audience trust in their journalism, or that of their news 
organization, had increased during the first wave of the pandemic.

61% reported that they felt an increased commitment to journalism as a result 
of the pandemic. 
The research was conducted by ICFJ's Global Director of Research, Dr. Julie 
Posetti; Leonard Tow Professor of Journalism and the Director of the Tow Center 
for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School, Emily Bell; and Dr. Pete 
Brown, research director at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism.

The report is the first of a data-driven research series (which will also draw 
on surveys conducted in six other languages) that will address the challenges 
of reporting on COVID-19 and offer guideposts for reimagining a post-pandemic 
future for journalism. 

The Journalism and the Pandemic Project is supported by global philanthropic 
organization Luminate, and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is a 
partner organization.

Read the full report here [].

Source: International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and Tow Center for Digital 
Journalism at Columbia University