“NIRIJ” Investigative Journalism Network participated in the online seminar on “Confronting Misleading News”, which was organized by “ARIJ” network on June 13th, under the title (Journalism Practices to avoid False News during Coronavirus Pandemic).
The seminar on misleading news held by ARIJ, with the participation of Journalists from several press institutions (ARIJ Network, France Press, Enab Baladi, “NIRIJ” Investigative Network, and CNN Arabia) came within the framework of collecting information for a recommendations paper on countering false news, to be issued next September with the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.
Participants in the “Round Table” presented their experiences on ways to deal with and confront misleading news, especially during the Corona pandemic, and on the programs and technical tools available that help uncover misleading news, as well as the basis for professional work that are adopted to stop such news.
Arab ARIJ Network is working on this file by coordinating with a number of parties interested in the issue of fake news and addressing it “with the aim of benefiting from the experiences of these parties and discussing the compatibility of the methods used with the conditions of the Arab region, if they succeed in different cultural, political and professional contexts.”
During the round table, three basic questions were asked that formed the themes of the issue:
What parties should be targeted in the efforts to combat fake news?
What are the most tested and successful methods of combating fake news?
What are the methods that have been tried to counter false news, but have not succeeded?
During the panel discussion, Saman Noah, Executive Director of the ” NIRIJ” network, stressed the importance of enhancing Media education and building a critical mindset for news consumers, as a means to confront fake news, pointing out that this requires action on three main axes:
-Journalists and activists, by developing their capabilities, and educating them with Media education, the principles of ethical professional coverage, and the work legal foundations.
– The public, by speeding up denying and rejecting fake news, providing corrections and accurate interpretation of it, giving additional information, confronting by presenting the facts, and constantly checking the foundations of Media education.
– Governmental institutions, by enforcing the necessary laws and procedures to confront false news providing that these laws have no negative impact on the ceiling of freedom of expression and publication.
Noah also raised a number of basic Questions related to the spread of misleading news, especially on Social Media, on which followers rely to obtain about 70% of the news:
– Do we have to bring the Journalist community to Social Media after adapting it, so that the Journalist can benefit from that open and widespread world, and through it transfer his information, interact with the audience and generate ideas in it? … Or should we focus and work on the writers who are already active in Social Media?
– Is it possible to create a mix between professional Journalists and Social Media that is familiar with the foundations of Media education and the principles of Journalistic work?
– Can a general training service be created through platforms that provide educational-cultural content to all who wish, and to enable them to distinguish between accurate and fake news?
– Is it possible to limit training to editors and admins with the necessary foundations to prevent and detect counterfeits, or should we continue to train all Journalists on those foundations?