As a news verification trainer, spreading awareness among journalists and journalism students, I have realised that spreading misinformation and disinformation has become an industry in itself. Though Google News Initiative (GNI) against fake news, in partnership with Internews and DataLeads, has trained 15,000 journalists and journalism students in the past 18 months, from the way this virus has spread, it is going to be tough even for this number of journalists to counter it.
So the network trainers like me have been going ahead and doing news verification workshops in schools, with younger students and teachers. Seeing these initiatives Google has launched yet another project called NewsCheck. As part of Google.org’s $10 million commitment to media literacy, NewsCheck has been granted $1 million.
NewsCheck is a media literacy project which will take news verification to the public at large. Internews will select a team of 250 journalists, fact-checkers, academics and NGO workers who will be trained on a curriculum developed by global and Indian experts. These trained individuals will then do workshops across the country with a focus on Tier Two and Tier Three towns and cities.
Starting today, Internews has put the call out for journalists, educators, community workers and others to join the new program. While this program takes off, the GNI training network of journalists will continue to do what they have been doing.
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