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How to report on zoonotic diseases

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How to report on zoonotic diseases

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More than a year since the very beginnings of Covid-19 journalism began to dominate the news cycle, zoonotic diseases continue to be a source of debate, conflict and misinformation worldwide. In response to the need for more information and journalism about this topic, EJN has launched a new online course for journalists looking to better understand the science behind zoonotic diseases, find available data on the subject and build skills in reporting on such an evolving topic.

The course, entitled “From Animals to Humans: How to Report on Zoonotic Diseases and Their Environmental Origins,” aims to strengthen understanding in zoonotic diseases, their environmental origins and the various efforts to prevent the spillover of pathogens from animals to humans. 

To complement the course, we have also created a tutorial that provides tips on using available data sets to report on the environmental drivers of zoonotic diseases. We’ve also included a data recipe that provides a step-by-step guide on how to produce a data-intensive story that investigates deforestation, which is one of the major factors contributing to the spillover of viruses. 

For journalists who would like to provide feedback to the course or interact with EJN staff and other learners on the topic of zoonotic diseases, a Slack channel has been created to build community and provide a venue for discussion. Participants can request to join at this link. 

Banner image: An illegal wildlife trade market in Möng La, Shan, Myanmar / Credit: Dan Bennett via Creative Commons.

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