“As the world faces disinfodemia, this wave of false information about the COVID-19 pandemic, the media are more than ever faced with their responsibility concerning objectivity in the treatment of information, and must use science to communicate the facts, and help save lives”
On the occasion of May 3, 2020, which marks the World Press Freedom Day, the UNESCO Office in Port-au-Prince, more than ever committed to supporting the press sector, whose role is undeniable as part of the response to Covid-19, launched a vast campaign called “STOPinfodemic” through digital media, to counter the phenomenon of expanding disinformation in Haiti.
In this respect, the UNESCO Office held an important virtual discussion with representatives of community media and online media, a meeting posted on the UNESCO Facebook page, followed live by more than 500 participants. Several subjects were discussed, including the financing and multiplication of digital media, the different faces of disinformation, as well as the political issues relating to online news sites, a situation of particular concern in Haiti.
An animated video presenting the challenges of disinformation and the need to be well informed was produced jointly with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), broadcast on the National Television of Haiti as part of this vast awareness campaign against the dangers of disinformation in Haiti, a strategy piloted by UNESCO and implemented by the Haiti Campaign platform.
Having responded to UNESCO's appeal, several digital media have joined the battle for the spreading of reliable information, by posting banners on their websites, thus actively participating in the # STOPinfodemic campaign; a strategy which joins the efforts of UNESCO and its partners at the global level to underline the role of science, diversely, the responsibility of the media whose work is essential in the response to the pandemic.
UNESCO also benefited from the support of influencers on social networks, in particular a rising star of the music in Haiti, the artist Tafa Mi-Soleil, who was involved throughout the period of the STOPinfodemic campaign, to relay all awareness messages against disinformation through her social network accounts totaling more than 330,000 subscribers (all platforms combined).
A toolkit has also been prepared to allow all partners who wish to get involved to be able to use all the campaign resources (infographics, videos, posters, stickers for WhatsApp, etc.).