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NewsCheck: In The Fight Against Misinformation, Empowering Citizens In India Through News Literacy

January 28, 2020

Strengthening our resolve to support the fight against misinformation in India, Internews is delighted to announce that in partnership with DataLEADS and with the support of Google.org, we will be launching a new news literacy project in India aimed at empowering the general public by helping them learn how to critically assess the information they see online and navigate news.

The program, “NewsCheck: India Media Literacy Project”, is designed to help adults in non-metro cities - especially in states with low literacy - learn how to navigate the maze of online information and understand better the nature and characteristics of content published online. NewsCheck will organise over 300 workshops, boot camps and sessions in at least seven Indian languages where new internet users will learn how to sift news from the sea of online misinformation. The effort will focus on women and pay special attention to underserved communities in states with low literacy.

The program will be based on a train-the-trainer model - we strongly believe we can achieve much more when we collaborate and bring together people with common interests. At the heart of this effort will be a core team of 250 trainers that will include journalists, fact-checkers, media faculty members and academics and civil society thought leaders from across India. If you are passionate about news and media literacy, and are keen to make a difference in this effort with your contribution, sign-up to become a trainer of our program. 

Selected applicants will be trained in-person at three-day boot camps that will be organised in the months to come (dates to be announced soon). The curriculum will be developed in consultation with media literacy experts - both global and from India. Once trained, these trainers will conduct workshops and sessions in their cities in at least seven languages. 

This new program builds upon our efforts to strengthen the fight against misinformation in India. To help combat the avalanche of “fake news” in the run up to the 2019 elections, Internews had partnered with Google, DataLEADS and other fact-checking partners to launch the Google News Initiative India Training Network in 2018. The Network has to date helped more than 15,000 journalists, media educators and journalism students in at least 75 cities and 10 languages learn how to fact-check and verify online information. And we know they are eager to take this message further to their communities.

The network training also led to the launch of many fact-checking initiatives and dedicated desks in newsrooms across the country, as well as publication of hundreds of fact-checking stories that alerted millions of audiences about viral misinformation.

We are delighted to once again join hands with DataLEADS and get the support of Google.org for this new effort and hope we can continue to trigger positive changes in the information ecosystem.