The funding support is part of Google.org’s broader, $10 million commitment to media literacy, in collaboration with the Google News Initiative.
Google, on Wednesday, announced a $1 million Google.org grant to help Internews launch a new initiative promoting news literacy among the Indian public. The funding support is part of Google.org’s broader, $10 million commitment to media literacy, in collaboration with the Google News Initiative (GNI).
According to the tech giant, the spread of misinformation is something the GNI India Training Network has been working to counteract, in their newsrooms and beyond. The Network, which consists of 240 senior Indian reporters and journalism educators, provides fact checking training. In partnership with DataLeads and Internews, the Network has provided in-depth verification training for more than 15,000 journalists and students from more than 875 news organisations, in 10 Indian languages.
As per Bharat Nayak, misinformation can have dangerous consequences. Concern about misinformation was especially pronounced around last year’s Indian general election—where more than 600 million people voted in the biggest democratic exercise in history. “Indian society has been gravely affected by ‘fake news’, which has contributed to a rise in hatred and violence, and horrific incidences of lynching,” he added.
GNI’s partner Internews will select a team of 250 journalists, fact checkers, academics and NGO workers, who will be trained on a curriculum developed by global and Indian experts, adapted to local needs and available in seven Indian languages. The local leaders will then roll out the training to new internet users in non-metro cities in India, enabling them to better navigate the internet and assess the information they find.
“To make journalism effective again, more than the improvements in media, what is needed is media literacy,” Bharat said. “I want to make the citizens aware of how to consume media, see news and how they can play an active role in changing things for the better.”
Internews is putting the call out for journalists, educators, community workers and others to join the new program.