BBC Asian Network creates new Coronavirus advice videos in South Asian languages to target vaccine disinformation

BBC Asian Network is targeting disinformation and conspiracy theories surrounding the Covid-19 vaccines with a new series of videos in five different languages.

Published: 2 December 2020
Updated: 3 December 2020
Asian Network - Vaccines Sylheti
This is a confusing time for everyone, with restrictions frequently changing and accurate information being undermined by misinformation, disinformation and conspiracy theories. At least we can help reduce the added challenge of a language barrier and provide a crucial service to British Asians and their families during this crisis.”
— Arif Ansari, Head of News, BBC Asian Network

The videos in Urdu, Punjabi, Sylheti, Gujarati and Tamil follow the success of the team’s Coronavirus advice videos during the first lockdown, which had more than a million views.

The new series, explained by a mix of news reporters and medical experts, will be published weekly and target Asian people who struggle with English as their first language. Topics include England’s three-tier system, advice for high-risk groups, vaccine developments, looking after your mental health, and how test and trace works.

Journalists Nalini Sivathasan and Sarika Unadkat are producing the videos as well as supplying an audio stream to 15 community radio stations in England, to ensure the messages are shared as widely as possible.

Arif Ansari, BBC Asian Network’s Head of News, says: “Although we normally work in English for a UK audience, the last series of Coronavirus language advice videos had a huge response and we wanted to build on that.

“This is a confusing time for everyone, with restrictions frequently changing and accurate information being undermined by misinformation, disinformation and conspiracy theories. At least we can help reduce the added challenge of a language barrier and provide a crucial service to British Asians and their families during this crisis.”

BBC Asian Network is publishing the videos on the News website and across its Twitter and Facebook accounts throughout the coming weeks.

NM2

Arif Ansari
Arif Ansari