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Fighting an ‘Infodemic’

As the COVID-19 outbreak spreads and most aspects of our daily life come to a halt, organizations are compelled to enforce institutional changes to stay afloat based on the news and information circulating online. But, considering the proliferation of misinformation about COVID-19 – from outlandish remedies to speculation about government plans – decision-makers have a difficult time keeping track of accurate information for rational decisions resulting in an infodemic.

In the wake of this global pandemic, the urgency for organizations to find and communicate timely, factual, and credible information has taken on new resonance and the same is true for businesses and organizations in Nepal as well. Hence, we conducted online research to be aware of measures anyone can take to ascertain a level of reliability in the online information we come across. We are sharing these findings for the benefit of all organizations and team members inside and outside Nepal:

  1. Check the URL Most organizations have their names in URL. To check the primary source, the URL should usually match with the source cited in the information.
  2. Check if the title matches the rest of the article.
  3. Check the date and double-check the information against other news coverage.
  4. Check whether the information comes from the website of a familiar or respected institution that has a proven track record of reliability.
  5. Cross-check the organization’s logo used in the article with the logo on the official website.
  6. Check  if the author is directly named in the byline and be wary of articles produced by anonymous authors.
  7. Check the author’s credentials and affiliations.
  8. Check if the information links back to credible sources and provides proof of claims.
  9. Look for sites that specialize in the kind of information you are seeking.
  10. Be careful if the article over encourages you to share.

At this pivotal time, Biruwa Advisors has been primarily relying on the announcements of international and national health organizations, specifically the World Health Organization and Ministry of Health and Populationcoronanepal.org and top media outlets for our information.

As we mentioned earlier, we aggregated these pointers through online research. If you feel that some crucial points are missing or you have any comments, please email it to us at blog@biruwaadvisors.com.np


Megha Pande