Communicating COVID-19 cases and deaths

Every day, the public in Ireland learns about the up-to-date numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths through newspapers, television and radio reports. The coverage is almost relentless: as much as 80% of the daily radio and TV news in Ireland relates to COVID-19, and within that, 60% of reports mention the numbers of cases and deaths.  While it is important that everyone understands the scale of the pandemic and its impact, media reports must also balance the potential for causing anxiety and even fatigue and disinterest that could undermine public health initiatives to protect us from COVID-19.

Working with the Irish Hospice Foundation and reaching out to other industry partners (Human Resources Headquarters etc), we will be able to provide supportive guidelines for different media and communication channels.  The full guidance document will be produced in July 2021.  In the meantime we are offering seven points to consider when reporting on cases and deaths related to COVID-19 in mass media. These can be found Media Tips