WEBINAR: Understanding and Handling Misinformation in the COVID-19 Context

WEBINAR: Understanding and Handling Misinformation in the COVID-19 Context

Facilitated by: BBC Media Action and First Draft


When: July 2, 2020 

What time: 2:00 PM Pakistan Standard Time

Where: ZOOM – Link to be shared

Language: English 

How long: 90 minutes 

Format: Panel discussion, Presentation and sharing of strategies and experiences

Who is it for: Colleagues from National, Regional and Global Humanitarian and Development organisations, Bloggers, Journalists and Civil Society Organisations involved in the COVID-19 response and working on countering or mitigating misinformation related to the coronavirus and COVID-19.

Facilitator: Genevieve Hutchinson, BBC Media Action

Presentations:  Victoria Kwan, Ethics and Standards Editor at First Draft

                             Radharani Mitra, Global Creative Advisor at BBC Media Action




Purpose: To share approaches and experiences for countering and mitigating rumours and mis- and dis-information related to the coronavirus and COVID-19. Through this webinar, participants will:

  • Hear about some of the issues facing media and communication organisations in addressing mis/disinformation
  • Understand some of the strategies being used to counter and mitigate mis- and disinformation



Community World Service Asia and BBC Media Action are jointly hosting this webinar on Understanding and Handling Misinformation in the COVID-19 context.


Misinformation, rumours and disinformation about health are not new. But the rise of digital and social media has enabled the spread of misinformation at a speed and scale not seen before, causing what has been referred to as an “infodemic”. Misinformation about the coronavirus, COVID-19 and the pandemic in all its forms has at best created confusion, and at worst led to fear, extreme anxiety, stigma, discrimination and people taking actions that have caused themselves or others harm, and in a few cases, death. We are aware of these stories as they make headlines, but how can organisations help to challenge the spread of misinformation in a way that cuts through rather than adds to the mass of information out there, help people to engage with and trust the facts, and builds audiences’ skills so that they can identify factual accuracy for themselves and engage with information that is helpful and supportive.


This webinar will share some of the experiences and strategies being used by First Draft and BBC Media Action countering and mitigating rumour, mis- and disinformation in the context of COVIVD-19.

A specific focus will be laid on:


  • An overview of the rumour, mis- and disinformation challenges faced so far during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Examples of strategies for understanding and handling rumour, mis- and disinformation


This 90-minute webinar will also give participants an opportunity to share existing best practices and ask practical questions about CVA key debates and policies, practices, common standards and other issues.


Community World Service Asia (CWSA) is a humanitarian and development organization, registered in Pakistan, head-quartered in Karachi and implementing initiatives throughout Asia. CWSA is member of the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) Alliance, a member of Sphere and their regional partner in Asia and also manages the ADRRN Quality & Accountability Hub in Asia.


BBC Media Action is the BBC’s international charity. In a world where media can be divisive and untrustworthy, BBC Media Action believes in the power of media and communication to do good. Their work reaches millions of people facing insecurity, inequality and poverty with information they can trust. BBC Media Action supports the independent media essential to democracy and development. And they inform, connect and inspire change in their audiences, providing trusted information, stories and ideas that generate debate and discussion and bridge divides.


First Draft is a training and research organisation that provides newsrooms, academics and other information providers with tools and strategies for tackling the challenges posed in an age of disinformation. With headquarters in London and bureau in New York and Sydney, its mission is to empower societies around the world with accurate information in critical moments.


If you wish to participate, kindly register here: Webinar Registration

Applicants will be informed by June 29th 2020 about their confirmation status. Up to 200 participants will be accommodated on a first come first serve basis. We would appreciate anyone willing to share some best practices on Handling Misinformation in the COVID-19 content. Those interested may indicate in the registration form and up to participants will be selected to share their experiences.

Webinar Facilitator:


Genevieve Hutchinson is a Senior Health Adviser at BBC Media Action. Genevieve has over 15 years of experience in designing, managing and advising health-focused communication and community-based projects and strategy for organisations and teams in the UK, Asia and Africa.  Key areas of work include sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health, HIV, malaria, polio, vaccination and health communication in emergencies, including the current pandemic.  In addition to health advice and strategy development, Genevieve also developed BBC Media Action’s strategy for working with and for young people. Before joining BBC Media Action, Genevieve managed support services for adults living with HIV and set up community-based programmes and information services in Ghana to support young people’s sexual and reproductive health rights. Since joining BBC Media Action in 2012, in addition to her Advisory role, Genevieve has also worked in Nigeria managing BBC Media Action’s health projects there, and in Ethiopia as Country Director.  





Victoria Kwan is the Ethics and Standards Editor at First Draft where she helps develop the organisation’s thought leadership on the effective reporting of mis- and disinformation, and ensures that the organisation's recommended practices are implemented across its own output. Previously, she worked as a Senior Attorney Editor at Thomson Reuters. Victoria is the co-creator of several interactive tools that aid legal journalists and educate the public about the Supreme Court of the United States, including SCOTUS Map and SCOTUS Watch. She holds a Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School.








Radharani Mitra is Global Creative Advisor at BBC Media Action. With three decades of experience, Radharani mines insights, formulates strategies and tells stories using digital and legacy media platforms to bring about social and behaviour change. Radharani has created several unique and impactful communication interventions such as the Condom Ringtone; the TB Superhero Mr Sputum; Nugget, an Android mobile game for teenagers; the Mr Plan-Plan radio drama series for Ebola, Klahn 9 Dream Station, a TV reality show for youth in Cambodia; BBC Janala (Window) a digital learning service in Bangladesh, to name just a few. She has played a key role in designing BBC Media Action’s mHealth innovations Mobile Academy and Kilkari (Baby’s Gurgle) that have been scaled up nationally by the Government of India. She has masterminded two TV dramas - AdhaFULL (Half-full), a whodunit series on gender and adolescence and Navrangi Re! (Nine to a Shade), on urban sanitation. She has presented on SBCC and Human Centred Design at various global platforms and her work has won several Indian and international awards

Event Date: 
Thursday, July 2, 2020 - 14:00 to 15:00
Organiser or Host: 
Community World Service Asia and BBC Media Action