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Covid-19 resources

News sources

Authentic news sources are essential at all times, and especially in times of crisis.  Mis-information, wild internet rumours and hearsay are dangerous or worse.

Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate ... 

  • Who? - produced the material:  
    • A recognized body such as a Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, or the National Library of Medicine in the USA
    • OR: a private individual with no recognized background who produces his own opinions, unreferenced
  • Why? 
    • Is the text for public information, using accredited sources such as the World Health Organization, or an opinion blog; or to promote a particular brand pharmaceutical whose provenance and even testing may be uncertain
  • Where? 
    • Does the material relate to a very particular area of the world, or is the background of the institution questionable?  Cross-check against other studies using a database such as PubMed or Medline
  • When? 
    • How up-to-date is the material; has it been superseded by newer studies?  Use authentic sites which are frequently updated, such as from the World Health Organisation, European Union or NHS in the UK 
    • Use a forward citation-searching feature such as in Web of Science to cross-check later references

Or have you chosen a source simply to confirm your own biases?


  • 'How to spot fake news' - blog post from the Fact Check organisation (Kiely and Robertson, 2016).
  • There is a Fact-checking / myth-busting section in the Information Literacy Group's Covid-19 and information literacy list
  • The EEAS press team, for the European Union, has produced an EU vs Disinformation site to counter misinformation on the internet, particularly from a pro-Kremlin position.  It has a specific Coronavirus page.  NB: this does not represent official EU policy as such. (EEAS, 2020)
  • The World Health Organisation (2020) has produced a clear Myth-busters guide.  UNESCO (2020) has a clear warning about disinformation and the Covid-19 crisis



For a thorough overview of worldwide news sources, including the UK and covering broadcast media as well, see the Academic Skills Centre online guide:

  • Finding newspapers 
  • NB: subscription material, such as archival issues or databases, may require University of Birmingham login

Box of Broadcasts (BoB) for broadcast programmes from TV and Radio:

International sources - respected news source on items covering the whole continent of Africa

BBC News

Deutsche Welle - Worldwide news 

Nexis - subscription resource. 

  • Nexis Advance UK: University of Birmingham members can find this on FindIt@Bham. 
  • May be required to set up a (free) personal account first
  • Has newspaper sources in a number of languages from a wide range of countries
  • Use the News and type, region, language options;  or Sources tabs for individual news sources

Reuters - respected international news agency dating back to the 19th century.


BBC News explainers

Channel 4 news

Financial Times 

  • Coronavirus - free to read: Latest figures and updates.  Open access (no subscription required)
  • FindIt entry for University of Birmingham users: login required; use the Miscellaneous e-journals link and set up a personal account (free) on the FT site
  • Coronavirus pandemic.  These and other results can be added to the MyFT Digest for subscribers (or readers whose institution has a subscription)

Guardian - leading UK newspaper known for investigative journalism

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