Hyderabad: United States Consulate General in the city Jennifer Larson spoke to journalists about the threat posed by disinformation and the importance of spotting and debunking false narratives before they enter mainstream reporting.
“There have always been actors looking to spread false information and journalists have always been on the front lines of identifying that information and preventing it from circulating among the broader public,” she said at the certificate awards ceremony of the training programme on “Countering Disinformation for Telugu TV Journalists.”
The programme was organised at the CFRD building at Osmania University campus on Tuesday.
Larson thanked Osmania University for their efforts in providing fact-checking and counter-disinformation resources and best practices to 30-odd journalists in both the Telugu States through a unique programme, jointly organised by the University’s department of journalism and mass communication and the US Consulate General Hyderabad.
“It’s important that we work as hard as we can to spot disinformation, because the stakes are high. The whole point of democracy is that we come together as individuals, argue about what we think our elected officials should do, and then hold those elected officials to account. But we can’t do that if we’re working with bad information,” she added.
The project “Countering Disinformation for Telugu TV Reporters” is a training programme to train TV journalists as verification experts. The training in the hybrid mode was conducted over eight months.
The objective of the training was to better equip journalists to bust fake news and prevent disinformation and misinformation from creeping into the mainstream media. The intended outcome was to empower journalists to hone their fact-checking skills in their daily journalistic routine.