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  • Centre For Civil Society organised a conference on fake news and disinformation

    Published on December 3, 2020

    New Delhi. Leading think tank Centre for Civil Society in collaboration with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation organised the second edition of the Fake News Conference online. The Fake New Conference (FNC) brought together students and young professionals with journalists and media experts to dialogue on the state of the media, the limits of disinformation, misinformation and fake news, followed by an in-depth practical workshop on fact checking.

    The online conference featured an in-depth discussion, dialogue, and workshop on fake news and fact-checking. It provided participants with an opportunity to disentangle themselves from the distractions of everyday life to reflect on issues of fundamental and enduring importance – the legitimacy of news.

    The conference comprised of two important sessions.  The first session provided an exhaustive introduction to the concept of fake news, contemporary debates surrounding it, why it is important to discern fake news, and a glossary of terminology using interactive slides and activities. The session was conducted by veteran journalist, H R Venkatesh (Director, Training and Research, BOOM FactCheck). The main objective of this session was to equip participants with a toolkit to granularly deconstruct fake news and comprehend its implications on society and public policy.

    The second session was conducted by Nivedita Niranjankumar (Deputy News Editor (South), BOOMLive. This session was a workshop on fact-checking and introduced participants to the tools and techniques fact-checkers use to determine the legitimacy of a news story. This 2 hour session provided a practical lesson – through screen-sharing – on what the tricks of the trade are. Upon completion, participants were equipped to fact check news stories for themselves.>

    H R Venkatesh, during his session, stressed on the importance of a collective responsibility to meet the challenge of fake news and disinformation. He argued that top-down regulation of the media was not the way forward, but rather building media literacy among civil society was the need of the hour. Ending on an optimistic note, Venkatesh reaffirmed his belief that the problem of fake news is indeed solvable.

    Nivedita Niranjankumar’s workshop on fact-checking introducing participants to the importance and practice of archiving news stories for posterity. Additionally, participants were given a deep-dive into the process of image and video verification through a multi-step process involving the use of Reverse Google Image Search, Yandex, and InVideo. Closing out her session, Nivedita highlighted the importance of ordinary people being able to discern real from false narratives using the basic tools of fact-checking. >

    The Fake News Conference concluded with participants receiving a certificate of completion from the Centre for Civil Society and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.

    This is the second iteration of the Fake News Conference in 2020. The first was successfully organised on July 26, 2020.