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16 July 2020

(31 Mar) Learn to decode what you hear about COVID-19

Joint SPH – JMSC workshop for journalists on COVID-19 and other infectious diseases 

This workshop is a pilot programme jointly presented by The University of Hong Kong’s  School of Public Health of HKUMed and Journalism and Media Studies Centre as part of an initiative to enable journalists to develop greater insight related to public health and science. The upcoming kick-off session will address the basics of infectious diseases, which is highly relevant for COVID-19 and other infectious disease outbreaks.

The workshop will be held via Zoom, with a Q&A session with reporters after short presentations by experts at HKU. We welcome members of the public to join us on YouTube. You can watch it live on March 31st; the video of the entire workshop will also be uploaded afterwards.


  • To build health literacy and knowledge in professional journalists
  • To provide basic tools and background knowledge to help non-specialist journalists to meet the challenge of reporting an infectious disease outbreak
  • To provide assistance to journalists in understanding and interpreting information and data


Time: 10:00am – 1:00pm (Hong Kong time, GMT+8)
Date:  Tuesday, 31 March 2020

  • Online via Zoom for participants
  • All are welcome to watch it live on the YouTube (please refresh the page at 10:00am onwards to view the livestream in case you do not see it playing)
  • Full recording of the workshop will also be uploaded to the JMSC YouTube channel

Note: Invitations for the workshop have been sent to media outlets based in Hong Kong, For other journalists who are interested in attending, please send an email to



Welcome message
Professor Keith Richburg, Director, Journalism and Media Studies Centre

Format and Q&A rules

Thomas Abraham, Adjunct Associate Professor, Journalism and Media Studies Centre

Professor Keiji Fukuda, Director and Clinical Professor, School of Public Health

10-15 mins per speaker followed by 10-15 mins Q&A

  1. Viral basics, including COVID-19
    Professor Malik Peiris, Tam Wah-Ching Professor in Medical Science and Chair Professor of Virology, School of Public Health
  2. Epidemiological characteristics of outbreaks
    Professor Benjamin Cowling, Professor and Head of Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health
  3. Diagnostics and vaccines
    Professor Leo Poon, Professor and Head of Division of Public Health Laboratory Sciences, School of Public Health
  4. Mathematical modelling
    Professor Joseph Wu, Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health
  5. Tracking rumours and mis/disinformation
    Dr. Masato Kajimoto, Assistant Professor of Practice, Journalism and Media Studies Centre

Q&A with all speakers moderated by Thomas Abraham


For inquiries, please contact JMSC Coms at

Image courtesy of LKS Faculty of Medicine, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (K.Tsia, K.Lee and Q.Lai), and Electron Microscopy Unit, The University of Hong Kong