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"Debunking Disinformation: A Training Program for Journalism Students and Professional Journalists"

To strengthen the ability of student and professional journalists to timely identify and efficiently fight fakes and disinformation campaigns, thus improving access of Georgian and Armenian citizens to quality information Donor: International Visegrad Fund, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Overall Objective: To strengthen the ability of student and professional journalists to timely identify and efficiently fight fakes and disinformation campaigns, thus improving access of Georgian and Armenian citizens to quality information and enabling a more unbiased discussion on the European aspirations of these two countries.


Specific Objectives Include:

1. Introducing information verification and disinformation-countering skills into curricula of local universities and to raise awareness of journalism students about the importance of information verification.

2. Improving the ability of independent journalists in Armenia and Georgia to identify disinformation campaigns and report on them, countering, in particular, fake news.

3.  Widening awareness of fake news among the general public, thus enabling readers to better identify disinformation campaigns themselves.


Partners

  • The Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA)

  • Media Initiatives Center (Armenia)

  • Independent Journalism Foundation (Hungary)

  • MEMO98 (Slovakia)

  • Linking Media (Poland)


Activities

  • Information verification/media literacy courses at local universities in both Armenia and Georgia

  • A “verification school” with multiple workshops to train professional journalists in information verification

  • E-learning courses for online support between the workshops

  • Fact-checking games, distributed through social media, to promote anti-fake literacy to students and wider public in a less academic manner than formal training.

  • “I Am Media” contests in both Armenia and Georgia, a competition to encourage critical thinking about the media among students.

  • Localization of verification tools that will help to identify doctored multimedia content.


Donors: International Visegrad Fund and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Image 26534Image 26534

The International Visegrad Fund is an inter­na­tional orga­ni­za­tion based in Bratislava founded by the gov­ern­ments of the Visegrad Group (V4) countries—the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Republic of Poland, and the Slovak Republic



Updates

An alumni meeting will be held for verification school participants on July 19-20 in Tbilisi. This will be aimed at fostering the community of the alumni, helping strengthen their network, shaping them as ambassadors of the program to further spread the skills and knowledge gained, as well as getting their inputs for planning next steps in advancing the school's agenda in the region. 

We will hear how having participated in the the school is helping the participants in their day-to-day work, share the success stories and best practices as well as pain points, go over the process and methodology used during the school. The participants will share their vision of how the field of information verification and open data in a broader sense could and should develop in Georgia and Armenia, what further capacity needs to be built so that it would better contribute to raising the overall quality of journalism, transparency and accountability. We will also listen to a presentation of research findings on the use of information verification tools by Georgian newspapers. 

For students this is a chance to build and strengthen professional connections, show their achievements, discuss challenges and map out solutions, give feedback about the school and contribute to the strategic vision of how this field of study should develop in the region.

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The event called "Verification School 2 (Armenia)" will take place on 21-22 November at Media Initiatives Center. Arshakunyats 3, 3rd floor, Yerevan, Armenia. It will start at 10 a.m. and finish at 5 p.m. on both days.

This is the second stage of the series of workshops on information verification that started on October 16-20 with a 5-day Verification School in Georgia. At that training both Georgian and Armenian participants came together to learn verification basics from our IVF trainer Ras'to Kuzel and a guest trainer Eoghan Sweeney.


At the second stage, of which the 21-22 "Verification School 2 (Armenia)" is a part, Armenian and Georgian participants hold local workshops refining their verification skills, putting them into practice and developing their own practical projects. 


The workshop series will close with another joint Verification School in Yerevan on December 8-12.


The "Verification School 2 (Armenia)" event will comprise of 2 full day classes, during which the Armenian participants will work with local trainers. The sessions will include introduction into local databases and open data sources, in-depth work with verification tools. The participants will develop their project ideas and will be able to implement them with the assistance of the local trainers, go through the process of checking and verifying information, facts and statistics. 


This part of the workshop series also includes meeting with guest speakers: Hrant Galstyan, local journalist with HETQ -Association of Investigative Journalists, and Media.am journalist Gayane Asryan, who are invited to share their experience, share the verification techniques used by HETQ, and explain how practicing journalists find and check manipulative messages and news spread in media.

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The Moldovan Diaries is a multimedia, interactive examination of the country's ethnic, religious, social and political identities by Paolo Paterlini and Cesare De Giglio.

This innovative approach to story telling gives voice to ordinary people and takes the reader on the virtual trip across Moldovan rural and urban landscapes. 

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