The Listening Post

2020 hindsight: The coverage of COVID-19

2020 brought the biggest story of our lifetime. We look back at some of our reporting on how the pandemic changed journalism around the world.

In 14 years of The Listening Post, there has never been a story like the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of people infected, the number of countries affected, and the amount of coverage the story attracted – all were unprecedented. We led with coverage of the pandemic for 12 straight weeks. We have never come close to that with any other story.

On this special edition of our programme, we look back at how the pandemic story grew – moving from country to country, and exposing the failings of various governments and their leaders. So many societal issues have been raised in the process, ranging from public health to personal privacy.

You will also see how our programme had to adapt to life under lockdown – the way journalists everywhere did – to stay safe.

With the first of the vaccines just being rolled out and so many countries feeling the effects of a second wave, the pandemic remains the biggest news story on the planet.  Prepare for more cases, more coverage and more examination of the way the COVID-19 is reported, here at The Listening Post.


Mary Hui – Reporter, Quartz

Katrina Yu – China correspondent, Al Jazeera English

Muyi Xiao – Visual editor, China File

Maria Repnikova – Assistant professor, Georgia State University

Charles Seife – Professor of health journalism, New York University

Kayla Gogarty – Senior researcher, Media Matters for America

Joanne Kenen – Executive health care editor, Politico

Albert Fox Cahn – Surveillance Technology Oversight Project

Michael Birnhack – Professor of law, University of Tel Aviv

Jon Allsop – Writer, Columbia Journalism Review newsletter

Maggie Koerth – Senior science reporter, FiveThirtyEight

John Ioannidis – Professor, Stanford University

John Allen Paulos – Professor of mathematics, Temple University

Phil Booth – Coordinator, MedConfidential

Cori Crider – Director, Foxglove

Andrew Fishman – Managing editor, The Intercept Brasil

Leonardo Custódio – Postdoctoral researcher, Åbo Akademi University

Barkha Dutt – Editor, Mojo

Arfa Khanum Sherwani – Senior editor, The Wire