Advice for journalists covering Covid-19: Welsh NHS confederation

Karin Wahl-Jorgensen, Linda Mitchell, Aidan O'Donnell, Gavin Allen, Mike Hill, Richard Sambrook, Wouter Poortinga, César Jimenez Martinez, Matt Walsh, Susan Kinnear, Jenny Kitzinger, Charlie Beckett, Zahera Harb, David Dunkley Gyimah, Sali Collins, Andy Williams

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


    The outbreak of COVID-19 is placing an unprecedented strain on health services in Wales and across the world. At the same time, coverage of the outbreak is essential, and there is a great demand from media organisations and their audiences to receive information about the outbreak and its frontline. This can put additional pressures on health care organisations and staff and may in certain cases interfere with their operations in dealing with the outbreak. This document has been prepared by Professor Karin Wahl-Jorgensen, Cardiff University, to support the work of the Welsh NHS Confederation. It draws on input from leading academics, journalists and PR practitioners (full list of contributors on p. 9). The document provides a number of suggestions for media organisations designed to facilitate coverage in and around healthcare facilities in Wales. The experts involved in preparing this document are independent from the NHS, and the document does not reflect official NHS policy. Here is a summary of our advice: 1. Responsible, detailed, and accurate reporting of COVID-19 is an essential public service. 2. Use credible experts as sources and be wary of unverified rumour 3. News organisations should use pooled materials whenever possible. 4. If looking for information verification, check other sources first before contacting NHS. 5. Ensure compliance with procedures for risk assessment and consent. 6. Enforce social distancing and ensure safe use of equipment. 7. Ensure risk assessments have been carried out prior to hospital visits and face-to-face interactions with NHS staff. 8. Obtain consent from anyone interviewed or filmed. 9. When making requests for interviews or information, be specific about who you need to speak to, and where, what and how the information will be used.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationCardiff
    PublisherCardiff University
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2020


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