BBC Global News has announced plans to support international and governmental organisations by offering them up to 20% of its advertising space for free for them to communicate their messages about the coronavirus crisis. BBC Global News operates the BBC’s 24-hour international news channel, BBC World News and BBC.com.

Major multilateral organisations and ministries of health of governments who wish to communicate relevant information to help protect citizens and stop the spread of the virus, could get in touch with BBC Global News’ advertising team (internationalsales@bbc.com) about opportunities to relay their messages to the BBC’s TV and online audiences outside the UK.

“Our job is to report on the developing crisis around the world in a period when people need news they can genuinely trust. But if we can support public health agencies in doing their job in these unprecedented times I feel we have a responsibility to help,” said Jim Egan, CEO of BBC Global News.

 Last year, approximately 121 million people used BBC World News and BBC.com each week on average. Last week (for the period ending 16-22 March) over 60 million — a record number — people visited the BBC’s online news services (up by 50% on the average) with more than 80% (49 million) directly looking up coronavirus coverage.

Alongside, the BBC is also attempting to check the spread of misinformation. Lately, several fake news stories have been in circulation, particularly on social media, and the BBC’s fact-checking team, Reality Check, has on a systematic basis identified and fact-checked unfounded claims, by seeking advice from its journalists stationed worldwide. 

Beside these efforts, BBC has commissioned more coronavirus-related content in response to growing demand for authentic content from audiences around the world. The service’s new programmes include “Coronavirus: What You Need to Know”, a new regular half-hour programme presented by Victoria Derbyshire on BBC World News. The programme explains what the coronavirus is, how one could contract it, and how to protect oneself. The programme also features experts who answer questions sent in by viewers. Another is “Coronavirus Explained”, a short daily update to be broadcast on the channel through the day alongside “Coronavirus index” on BBC.com and the daily Coronavirus Global Podcast.