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23.01.2019

Fake news - is media literacy the answer?

by Jane Whyatt

Across Europe, media freedom campaigners continue to call for quality journalism and against fake news. Trust in the media took a knock when Spiegel correspondent Claas Relotius's reporting was revealed as largely fictitious. But the German news magazine’s prompt response to the revelations show how seriously  the issue is taken.

Fake news - is media literacy the answer? Source: The fin de siècle newspaper proprietor by Frederick Burr Opper

Stepping up to the mark, the ECPMF’s Resource Centre has published a new dossier on disinformation.

And the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) is training journalists and media freedom campaigners in the importance of media literacy to newsrooms.

EJN’s Tom Law explains in a You Tube video published by ECPMF partner Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso (OBCT) why this is a vital issue for newsrooms.

 

Meanwhile another ECPMF partner organisation, Lie Detectors, has won an international award for innovation. 

Lie Detectors is an independent organisation funded by the US-based Wyss Foundation. It works with professional journalists in Germany and Belgium. After attending training workshops, the reporters go on visits to primary and secondary school classes to explain how fake news is created and why quality jourmalism matters.

Elves to fight the trolls

Ahead of the European Parliament elections on 26. May 2019, two US-based fact-checking organisations have moved into action. Avaaz is recruiting people it calls “elves” who will combat the “trolls” spreading falsehoods and politically-biased smears from bogus accounts or automated bots in social media networks. 

And First Draft has established new offices in New York and London in order to boost the fact-checking strength of editorial offices across the EU and globally. 

The European Commission’s DG-Connect is currently conducting a survey of stakeholders to help plan its next move, building on the report of the High Level Expert Group on Misinformation. You can take part in the consultation here:

The video interview with Tom Law of the Ethical Journalism Network was first published on the website of the Osservatori Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT) and is reproduced here with OBCT's permission. The interviewee's views are his own.



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