Top IJNet articles of 2020

by IJNet
Dec 31, 2020 in IJNet News

We’ve been busy at IJNet in 2020 publishing hundreds of resources to assist journalists reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic, while equipping reporters around the world with tools and advice for covering racial unrest, climate change, mental health and more. We’ve published tip sheets to help journalists identify and address misinformation, engage their audiences and collaborate more effectively. All across our eight languages.

[Read more: Top COVID-19 stories of 2020 from around the world]


We asked our global team of editors and translators to take a look back on the year and select their favorite IJNet articles from 2020. Below, you’ll find their selections, written by journalists based in Brazil, Chile, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Iraq, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, Uruguay and the U.S.

Here’s our list — make sure to check them out if you haven’t already:


Peru mourns the death of more than 50 journalists due to COVID-19, by Consuelo Ferrer

Job precarity, lack of social security and the difficulties of carrying out reporting with the necessary protection resulted in the deaths of 58 Peruvian journalists between March and July.

What some newsrooms in Latin America are doing to take care of their journalists' mental health, by Mariana Cianelli 

This article provides tips that newsrooms in the region are implementing to take care of the mental health of their journalists during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


Journalists with disabilities share their stories, by Romaniia Gorbach

This article includes personal stories from several journalists based in different countries of the former Soviet Union. This is an important, underreported story, and Romaniia Gorbach tells it in a very compelling way — she shows the big picture, while at the same time reporting the story from a humanitarian perspective.

Data journalism tips: Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus edition, by Mariana Verbovska

We know that data journalism is very popular around the globe, but this article, using a human-centered approach, helps us to see this from a new angle. The author Mariana Verbovska, one of IJNet's journalists of the month, interviews data journalists from Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine, asking them about how they approach their data journalism efforts, and their advice for those who are interested in the field. 

Russian journalists leave TV behind for YouTube, by Sonya Lopaeva

In this article, IJNet Russian Social Media Editor Sonya Lopaeva digs into the interesting and relatively recent trend of Russian journalists switching over from government-controlled media to independent YouTube channels. She discusses who is tuning into these channels and what kind of content works best on the platform.


“It’s hard to pick only two articles, so I narrowed down to these three because they are inspiring and empowering as they illustrate the resourcefulness of journalists during an extremely hostile time in Brazil,” said IJNet Portuguese Editor Renata Johnson. “While the Bolsonaro government has denied the severity of the pandemic, some journalists have turned their eyes to the most vulnerable people in society: favela residents, Indigenous peoples and the families of victims.”

Brazilian favela journalists lead actions to raise awareness about COVID-19, by Thaís Cavalcante 

As soon as the novel coronavirus pandemic emerged in Brazil, grassroots communicators decided on creative strategies on how to raise awareness in the favelas

Reporting COVID-19's effects on Indigenous peoples in Brazil, by Aldem Bourscheit 

The threats that Indigenous populations have suffered in Brazil cannot be overlooked by journalists and media organizations covering the pandemic, which has already reached several of these communities.

The names behind the numbers: honoring COVID-19 deaths in Brazil, by Alice de Souza 

As Brazil has become a new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, these initiatives are telling the stories behind the numbers.


Tips for Accurate Reporting of Iran's Coronavirus Crisis, by Mehrnaz Samimi 

Amid a deluge of ever-changing remarks by authorities and a demonstrated difference between official and field data on cases of COVID-19 infections and deaths, reporting on COVID-19 in Iran is complicated. This article showcases a few significant points for journalists, and reviews how being mindful of each point would help with more accurate coverage.

A Conversation with Photojournalist Farhad Babaei on Images of COVID-19 in Iran, by Mehrnaz Samimi 

Farhad Babaei is an Iranian photojournalist whose work has appeared in Iranian and non-Iranian publications. IJNet spoke with him about the experience of covering the very first days of the Coronavirus outbreak in Iran, when a family visit coincided with a lockdown, preventing him from returning to the city where he lived for several weeks.


In France, Mediacités is building an investigative network outside of Paris, by Xavier Alix

Mediacités is a local media outlet that launched in 2016 in four cities — and soon a fifth — across France. It is an independent, ad-free, investigative digital publication. Last November, the Innov' prize at the Médias en Seine festival in Paris was awarded to Mediacités, where they beat out major global outlets like The New York Times, CNN and Le Monde.  

Covering the pandemic's impact on Haiti's deaf community, by Stéphanie Fillion 

An interview with Haitian independent journalist Milo Milfort about his reporting on the impact of COVID-19 on the deaf community. Milfort’s coverage of the deaf community in Haiti highlights how the pandemic is affecting vulnerable populations around the world. 


10 tips for journalists covering COVID-19, by Taylor Mulcahey

This tip sheet really kicked off our COVID-19 coverage this year. Looking back on the resource today, the tips remain relevant and are important for fellow journalists to take into account as we continue to navigate the global health crisis.

European media has a racism problem, by Christina Lee

Alongside the racial justice protests that broke out last summer following the murder of George Floyd in late May, many in the media began to examine and discuss more openly the news industry's own shortcomings when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion. In this article, Christina Lee takes a closer look at inequality and racism in European media, and its consequences.

Citizen journalism platform uses Bluetooth to bring news to media dark villages in India, by Devansh Mehta

In this article, Devansh Mehta explains how his organization, CGnet Swara, a citizen journalism platform in the forests of central India, works with local tribal groups to bring news to residents of media dark zones using Bluetooth. Mehta walks through the innovative approach in great detail, and in so doing offers insights for fellow journalists and news organizations to consider when it comes to delivering news to readers in need, while also promoting citizen-generated content.


What’s missing from COVID-19 coverage? Women., by Taylor Mulcahey

This article provides a recap of recently published research that analyzed how women are underrepresented in coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Said IJNet Chinese Editor Minlu Zhang: “It's interesting that many Chinese news agencies are also currently reflecting on this topic.”


Testimonials from Iraqi journalists about press freedom violations during protests, by Nabil Al-Jabouri.

This article takes a closer look at the deterioration of press freedom in Iraq in 2019.

For publishers and content managers: 28 tools and platforms to detect journalism theft, by Amr Alansary.

This article provides essential resources for journalists to track potential theft of intellectual property — a growing need in 2020.

All article descriptions provided by IJNet editors and translators. Read more about our IJNet team here.

Photo by Evie Shaffer from Pexels.

This article was updated to include new top English stories.