• Course Code:  JN20.1

  • Term:  Self paced

  • Open for Enrollment

  • Self-paced

  • Course Author(s)
    Deborah Kelly
Safety 2732px x 1190px

Reporting on COVID-19: SAFETY

Self paced

  • Circles
    Thomson Foundation


Please contact journalismnow@thomsonfoundation.org if you are having difficulties enrolling into this course


This course was created in collaboration with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Dart Centre Europe




With this course you will learn how to ensure your safety and those of the people you work with and meet when covering a pandemic such as Covid-19. You will learn how conduct interviews and gather information at a time when restrictions on movement and contact create enormous challenges for journalists. The course draws on coverage of previous epidemics and pandemics such as Sars and Ebola and includes examples of best practises devised by journalists and media organisations covering the Covid-19 outbreak. There are a series of exercises to help you. The course is designed to help keep you, your colleagues, friends and family safe but ultimately enable you to continue to cover the story at a time when people are relying on you to keep them informed.



  • You will learn to be able to adapt your working practices and the way you use your equipment to achieve the most effective coverage during the challenges of reporting during a pandemic. 
  • You will find out about the processes and checks required to plan for coverage of Covid-19 for field reporters and news-desk based staff.
  • You will learn what measures to take to minimise risk from infection, or infecting others, when covering the Covid–19 Pandemic.
  • You will be introduced to the practical steps to take when using equipment to record audio and video during a pandemic such as Covid-19.
  • You will be introduced to the potential emotional consequences of covering a pandemic, how to handle those consequences and where to seek help if needed.






Deborah Kelly, your course instructor is the Director of Training and Communications at the Thomson Foundation. She has more than 30 years’ experience as a senior journalist and manager working for UK and international media organisations including the BBC, Al Jazeera, ITV and Thomson Reuters.


Joining Deborah is a strong team of media experts.



Ernest Sagaga, Head of Human Rights and Safety at the International Federation of Journalists.


Joel Whittaker, Head of High Risk for ITN, the UK-based international news organisation.


Louise Heren, television documentary producer, author and academic with more than 30 years’ experience in the media industry.


Gavin Rees, Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma Europe.


Glen Mulcahy, Trainer and consultant in mobile journalism




Section 1 gives an overview of the course and introduces the course trainer and the media experts who will guide you through the safety process.

Section 2 explores what we know about Covid-19 and considers the safety checks and measures you must carry out when planning coverage of stories.

Section 3 investigates the principles of journalistic safety at a time of crisis, including personal hygiene, and cleanliness of equipment.

Section 4 lists the golden rules for ensuring that members of the public you come into contact with, stay safe at all times.

Section 5 provides you with a ‘risk checker’ - providing all the information you need to make sure you get the story you want, safely.

Section 6 has all the essential tips regarding video and audio recording, including a look at how the experts manage to cope during a pandemic.


Section 7 shows how you can keep yourself and your family safe, and where you can get help to cope with the emotional impact.



You can complete this course within 4 hours across multiple sections


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Reporting on COVID-19: SAFETY


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