The NYC Pandemic Response Institute (PRI) and the Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives, have collaborated to release a special issue entitled Leaving No One Behind: Opportunities for improving future pandemic-related communication. The open-access special issue highlights research and commentaries that acknowledge the failures and successes of current health communication and suggest new approaches for future pandemics.
PRI is led by Columbia University with its key partner, the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH). The special issue was curated by the PRI Communications Team, led by CUNY SPH faculty. The team works to create and support platforms that disseminate accurate, evidence-based information during a crisis and to increase public resistance to misinformation and disinformation campaigns.
The COVID-19 pandemic revealed serious shortcomings in the delivery of accurate and trusted health communication. However, the crisis also helped strengthen community outreach systems.
“We witnessed a 21st century pandemic tear through a nation armed with programs and policies from the 20th century,” CUNY SPH Associate Professor Chris Palmedo, guest editor for this special issue, writes in the foreword. “It became clear that the systems of disseminating effective pandemic-related information are complicated and delicate, and we found out that the process of spreading misleading information is powerful and often obscure.”
Drawing on topics and themes including the lived experiences of some of the hardest hit communities in the nation, the publication highlights the dynamic and quickly changing landscape of pandemic communication. Though much of the research is New York based, the lessons learned and actionable strategies proposed in the articles below can be applied around the world.
PRI and the Journal of Health Communication are proud to emphasize that the commentaries and investigations in this issue are some of the first to be conducted in a post-pandemic era.
“As we face a pandemic of health misinformation and disinformation, the need for concise targeted communication is increasingly apparent,” says PRI Co-Lead and CUNY SPH Dean Ayman El-Mohandes. “In this special edition, we are proud to present some of the innovative research our colleagues have spearheaded on pandemic-related communication.”