By dispelling rumours, fake news, and messages of hate and division during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN is working to spread accurate information and messages of hope and solidarity. To rally forces behind this effort, we are launching a new COVID-19 Communications Response Initiative based on science, solutions and solidarity to fight misinformation.
In the context of the unprecedented public health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, access to verified and accurate information, produced by independent media and fact-checkers, can mean a matter of life and death.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the importance of free and independent media in reporting verified information to the public and in holding public authorities to account. Yet, as the preview of a new UNESCO study assesses, in recent years the news media have faced increased challenges to editorial independence. This is especially through ‘media capture’ in which media are skewed by private and state groups that abuse systems of regulation, ownership, advertising and finance.