Journalism in pandemic: online training for thousands of international journalists

Gary Schwitzer is the founder of and has been its publisher for 14 years. He has been a health care journalist for 47 years. He tweets as @garyschwitzer or as @HealthNewsRevu.

When I taught media ethics in the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication, I’d be thrilled to teach in an auditorium filled with 150 students.

This week, I spoke to an online course that has more than 7,000 international journalists enrolled from more than 150 countries. That’s what I’ve been told by longtime friend Maryn McKenna – a terrific public health journalist – who invited me to speak to the course that she is leading.

It’s called, “Journalism in a pandemic: Covering COVID-19 now and in the future.”

It is a free online course offered by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNESCO, with support from the Knight Foundation and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

And here is my video appearance before all of those international journalists:

After this video first appeared, I received an email from one of the journalists.  It read:

Dear Gary, I just listened to your video done for the Knight Foundation course on covering Covid-19. It is one of the most useful and THE most inspirational talk I’ve heard for journalists in these trying times. I am based in China, working from home with a toddler (no day care) and still doing field reporting as well. Your words really helped me understand the importance of dogged reporting and gave me a reason to continue, despite how tiring it is and all the brick walls you keep hitting. Going through some of the tips shared in your site now. Hope you will get funding to restart your great work again.

That’s enough to keep me going – even without funding – for some time longer.

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