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byJOSEPHINE CHINELE Oct 15, 2021 in International Journalists’ Network
The distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in many parts of the world has given people hope that we may finally be nearing the pandemic’s end. There have been, however, mixed reactions to the immunizations, influenced by an abundance of misinformation.In a recent ICFJ Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum webinar titled “Reporting Vaccines, Hesitancy and Misinformation without promoting falsehoods,”
Tara Haelle, an independent science and health journalist, and the medical studies core topic leader at the Association of Health Care Journalists shared tips for reporting accurately and effectively on the vaccines.

Avoid “both sides” journalism: Journalists should avoid common pitfalls when reporting on vaccines. For instance, don’t offer false information a platform in an attempt to balance conflicting beliefs and attitudes, said Haelle.

Legitimate debate may exist and deserves coverage when it arises, but make sure you address the actual scientific questions in your reporting, and are in touch with the right experts to supply accurate information.