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Pulitzer Center Update March 25, 2021

Infodemic: How to Fight Disinformation—and Not Make Things Worse

Media: Authors:
Mina Ramesh Jakhawadiya, center, poses for a picture with her family members outside her one room house in a slum in Mumbai. Image by AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh. India, 2020.
English

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Multiple Authors

The viral threat of disinformation has not only helped exacerbate the COVID-19 pandemic, it has undermined the public’s belief in science and evidence. Global health professionals, scientists, and students need to understand the how and why of disinformation and learn strategies for responding to it.

This panel, which included a journalist, scientist, and disinformation expert, offered a fast-paced tutorial on this challenge. This workshop was one in a series of communications events organized by Global Health NOW, an initiative of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Pulitzer Center, and the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH).

Participants:

Claire Galofaro is a national writer for the Associated Press, a Pulitzer Center grantee, and a recipient of a Livingston Award for Young Journalists. She is based in Louisville, Kentucky. Galofaro writes extensively about poverty, politics, and rural America, and has reported extensively on the spiraling opioid epidemic in Appalachia after the collapse of the coal industry.

Tara Kirk Sell is a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. At the center, she leads research projects to develop better responses to potentially large-scale health events with a focus on public health policy, risk communication, and understanding health misinformation.

Claire Wardle is a leading expert on user-generated content, verification, and misinformation. She is a co-founder and director of First Draft, the world’s foremost nonprofit organization focused on research and practice to address mis- and disinformation. Previously, Wardle was a research fellow at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, and the research director at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University’s Journalism School.

Panel organizers/facilitators:

Ann Peters, university and community outreach director at the Pulitzer Center

Brian Simpson, editor-in-chief of Global Health NOW and Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health Magazine at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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