During the capacity-building in Berlin, Source: Alliance4Europe

Read Twice comes home from Germany with new tools to fight online disinformation

Read Twice comes home from Germany with new tools to fight online disinformation

The project aims to build up media literacy and anti-disinformation skills in 30 young media professionals from Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania

Last week, Read Twice, a project to increase media literacy and fight online disinformation took 30 young media professionals from Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania for a capacity-building training in Berlin. The training was hosted by Alliance4Europe, an NGO committed to tackling the issue.

Read Twice is co-funded by the European Union under the CERV programme (Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values).

Growing the toolkit

During the training in Berlin, the lecturers presented cutting-edge techniques for detecting fake content online, such as Public Editor. This tool is capable of detecting rhetorical techniques and inflammatory language aimed at triggering an emotional response while presenting a narrow and distorted view of the facts.

Another theme of the seminar was the platform DISARM, which uses cyber security practices to create a massive strategical document that can aid national services as well as other interested actors in coordinating an international or a local level response against disinfo campaigns.

As a part of the project, the participants learned about the disinformation-detecting method, developed by Deutsche Welle. Julia Bayer and Tilman Miras, a journalist and an IT specialist working in tandem to create new instruments and software solutions, described their first-hand experience with fact-checking.

The project also took the young media professionals to the editorial rooms of Der Spiegel, where experts presented practices from their work regarding facts and investigations, including the publication’s rigorous fact-checking standards and their work on the Team Jorge story

Raising media literacy among the youth

The project recruited 30 young professionals from the fields of journalism, PR, and political science, as well as people writing blogs. They were selected from Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania through three organisations: Euro Advance Association, Udruga Echo and Se Poate.

Although the participants had varying backgrounds, they had a common commitment to helping their local communities, and especially other young people, by sharing good advice for fighting disinformation and fake news online.

Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania are among the most affected by disinformation European Member States. Thus, the project aims to rectify these deficiencies by allowing the exchange of experience with countries (like Germany and Portugal) that have more robust practices to tackle contemporary media issues.

The next destination for Read Twice and the partners is Porto, Portugal. The second training will take place in March and is organised by LUSOFONA University (Universidade Lusófona - Centro Universitário de Lisboa).

Once both trainings are complete, the participants will, in their own right, organise seminars in their home countries. These will be focused on the university environment, where they will relay the tools and techniques for fighting disinformation to their peers.



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