It is with no doubt that the vast effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kosovo continue to hit each sphere of what composes our society. Firstly, the health sector is day-by-day experiencing lack of human and technological capacities in order to treat infected cases and diminish the further spread of the virus. Moreover, the confinement measures and travel restrictions are instigating an economic recession given that the country’s economy is heavily reliant on remittances and increased levels on unemployment. Additionally, because the security institutions have shifted their focus and forces on the implementation of COVID-19 regulations, the justice sector has created a fertile ground for criminal activities. Lastly, the education sector is also bearing the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, given that students have been engaged on distanced-learning, which remains a global challenge.
Furthermore, with the spread of COVID-19, citizens continue to be more encouraged to stay up to date more frequently with news and information from the government of Kosovo, health institutions and other health organizations. Many media outlets misused this situation for profiting and began sharing false information, which unfortunately led to an increased panic amongst the population of Kosovo.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Internews Kosova, under the scope of the project granted by the Balkan Trust, titled “Reporting Qualitative and Reliable Information on the Coronavirus COVID-19”, implemented from April to July 2020, has continuously monitored the work of institutions on combating the virus, reported on violations of the measures implemented, and committed to identifying and reporting fake news circulated in the media and on social networking sites. This was done through the production and broadcasting of 32 live interviews with municipal mayors, doctors, health experts, representatives from the National Public Health Institute of Kosovo, production of 797 daily fact-checking updates and 6 in-depth articles regarding the Covid-19 situation in Kosovo. Internews Kosovo with its partner BIRN Kosovo continuously provided the public with reliable information and kept public officials accountable for their statement, while in the meantime raised the awareness of the general audience regarding facts related to the virus.
Therefore, Internews Kosova will continue its action by providing the public with reliable information, improving the quality of authorities by keeping them accountable for their statements, and by raising the awareness of the general audience regarding the facts related to the virus. Internews Kosova and BIRN Kosovo will ensure to achieve their goal by broadcasting thirty (30) live interviews with municipal mayors, doctors, health experts, representatives from the National Public Health Institute of Kosovo, relevant stake holders, patients who recovered from the virus, and patients currently being treated, publishing fact-checking updates, and by publishing five (5) in-depth articles from different doctors and relevant stakeholders.
Balkan Trust for Democracy
The overall objective of the action is to increase reliable information, improve the quality of authorities by keeping them accountable for their statements and raise awareness to the general audience regarding the facts related to the virus. Through this action, Internews Kosova and BIRN Kosovo will target Kosovo citizens from all communities around the country, including the youth, middle-aged people and the elderly, public authorities and health institutions, among others.
- Broadcast thirty (30) live interviews with municipal mayors, doctors, health experts, representatives from the National Public Health Institute of Kosovo, among other relevant stakeholders;
- Utilize a sub-section on KALXO.com regarding COVID-19 by publishing fact-checking daily updates, and
- Publish five (5) in-depth articles from different doctors on the tips to be taken during quarantine and in case of suspicious symptoms.
- Youth, young adults and middle-aged people;
- Public authorities/institutions;
- Health institutions;
- Minority communities;
- Press Council of Kosovo,
- Independent Media Commission;
- Association of Journalists of Kosovo.