ICFJ offers training for journalists to ‘disarm disinformation’

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The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) is now accepting applications for the “training of trainers” opportunity from individuals in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). It is part of Disarming Disinformation, a three-year global project run by the ICFJ with lead funding from the Scripps Howard Fund.

In a statement, the ICFJ said the training will equip professionals who are passionate about tackling disinformation to hold workshops and events for their communities, helping more people spot and push back against harmful, false information that can undermine democracy, endanger people’s wellbeing and more.

ICFJ Senior Programme Director, Paul Rothman, stated that to effectively combat disinformation and foster healthy, fact-based information ecosystems requires a high community-level awareness and action.

“Our goal is to equip journalists and community leaders across the world with the knowledge and skills to empower their local communities,” he said.

The statement noted that applicants will be invited to attend a four-hour online course (in English) led by the Poynter Institute’s MediaWise.

“After the online course, five applicants will be selected from each region to attend an in-person training, before each receives a $2,000 grant to implement their own community events and workshops. While this opportunity is not limited to journalists, applicants should have previous experience with disinformation issues and the credibility needed to build trust with their future trainees.

“Applications will close by August 4 and the online course will take place three days after, precisely on August 7, 2023 from 12-4 pm GMT. The immersive online course will be open to all participants and will cover a wide range of essential topics such as news literacy, media and information literacy, the seven types of mis- and disinformation, and fact-checking tools such as geolocation.

“The training will be focused on deepening participants’ technical expertise in areas such as the use of fact-checking and verification tools, as well as audience engagement and training. These sessions will be run by MediaWise, in collaboration with local partners from each of the target regions: Africa Check (Africa), FactCrescendo (Asia), Fatabyyano (MENA) and Media Development Foundation (Europe).

“Candidates who do not attend the online course will not be considered in the subsequent stage of the selection process for the in-person training and grant. Those who want to attend the online course but do not want to be considered for the grant selection will be able to select this option in the application form.

“After the training, grantees will go back to their countries where they will be expected to develop and organize their own events and workshops for at least 60 people before June 2024,” the statement added.

The international Training Manager at MediaWise, Brittani Kollar, while expressing her joy at the collaboration emphasized on the need for individuals to acquire skills to curb disinformation in the society.

“We could not be more excited to collaborate with ICFJ on their Disarming Disinformation Training of Trainees programme, and to work with distinguished regional partners to implement training that will resonate in their regional environments,” she said.

“False information, whether intentional or not, harms our global society. Through localized training, individuals will learn techniques relevant to them to assist in stopping the spread of false information,” Kollar added.

The Disarming Disinformation project is run by the ICFJ with lead funding from the Scripps Howard Fund. The three-year project will empower journalists and journalism students to fight disinformation, the statement noted.

Fact-checker at The FactheckHub | [email protected] | + posts

Seasoned fact-checker and researcher Fatimah Quadri has written numerous fact-checks, explainers, and media literacy pieces for The FactCheckHub in an effort to combat information disorder. She can be reached at sunmibola_q on X or [email protected].

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