Webinar on COVID-19: Ask The Experts - Part 4 I 17th April I 2 PM

15 Apr 2020

Webinar on COVID-19: Ask The Experts - Part 4 I 17th April I 2 PM

“The fight against COVID-19 is a ‘People’s war’; “tackling the pandemic on a ‘war footing’ and “war-time President”. These are a few in the long list of war metaphors being frequently used in the media to highlight the impact and scale of the crisis. Use of such language may influence public understanding, behaviour and response to the pandemic.

The role of language in communicating risk in a public health emergency is critical and has far-ranging impact on affected populations. The fourth webinar in the COVID19: Ask The Experts series would explore the ‘Role of Language in times of a Pandemic’. The webinar will broadly cover the following topics: 

  • Talking about a pandemic without spreading fear and stigma - what should communicators know and understand?
  • The role of metaphors in shaping public understanding and human response. What have previous pandemics taught us in this regard? 
  • Humanising a pandemic
  • Talking to different public groups about the pandemic
  • Key considerations for shaping the public discourse around the pandemic


Soumitra Pathare | Psychiatrist I Director, Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy ILS Pune

Soumitra Pathare is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Director of Centre for Mental Health Law and Policy at ILS, Pune. He has contributed to the WHO Mental Health Policy and Service Guidance Package,  helped draft India’s new Mental Health law and was a member of the Policy Group appointed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, to draft a new national mental health policy for India. He is also Project Director of SPIRIT, a NIMH funded Hub for suicide prevention in South East Asia and a member of the ATMIYATA team which is scaling up a lay volunteer-based community program to improve access to mental health services in rural Gujarat. He is @netshrink on Twitter

Ida Jooste | Global Health Media Advisor | Internews

With over 25 years of experience, Ida is an award-winning journalist and media technical expert who has worked closely with PEPFAR and USAID on a series of issues including governance, global health crisis, HIV/AIDS, and Human Rights.

At Internews, Ida is working on the Ebola and post-Ebola response in West Africa and helping the media of priority Sub-Saharan African countries create an enabling environment for HIV biomedical prevention research to thrive. She is @idajooste on Twitter

Padma Priya | Advocacy and communication specialist I Suno India

DVL Padma Priya is the co-founder and editor of Suno India, a multilingual-multigenerational podcast platform for issues that matter. She has written for leading media houses such as The Hindu, The Wire, IndiaSpend and others. She has also worked as an advocacy and communication specialist for Nobel Peace Prize-winning organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF).  She is @priyakamal on Twitter.

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Watch the first webinar in this series HERE (https://youtu.be/MjRGtWrzGgI). Read edited excerpts of the webinar HERE.

Watch the second webinar in this series HERE (https://youtu.be/LH5MgsMAsBE). Read edited excerpts of the webinar HERE and HERE.

Watch the third webinar in this series HERE (https://youtu.be/Cz7mu65iNo8).

Our experts answer your pressing questions after the webinar too. Find responses to some FAQs from previous webinars HERE (bit.ly/COVID19WebinarQnA).