Fact-checking fact sheets: Resources and ideas to help combat the coronavirus infodemic  | Fact-checking | DW | 22.10.2020

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Fact-checking

Fact-checking fact sheets: Resources and ideas to help combat the coronavirus infodemic 

Finding trustworthy information on the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic has become harder; lies and misinformation more widespread. Listed here are a few ideas and resources that can help.

The COVID-19 pandemic has evolved into an unprecedented challenge for individuals and countries across the globe, touching not only the health of millions but also changing the way we work, learn and socialize. It has also sparked a globalinfodemic of bad advice, baseless medical information, and sensationalist headlines as people try to make sense of constantly changing informationoccasionally contradictory opinions from previously unknown experts and institutions, and a radically altered daily landscape. The current crisis has also created new avenues for malicious disinformation campaigns by state actors that already posed a challenge to the integrity of the global information system.

This new reality presents a major problem for journalists and media content creators, as well as the individuals and communities looking for information online and on the newsWhile many people are unknowingly spreading mis- and disinformation in a genuine attempt to keep their friends and family safe, others are using this troubled time to purposefully spread confusion, sell fake or useless products, or engage in fearmongering and undermine democracy. But how to separate truth from misinformation, and sound medical advice from dangerous medical fiction?

The resources collected here are about providing the means with which to:  

  • check dubious claims 

  • highlight ways to directly fact-check information as it appears in your social media feeds, 

  • locate respected sources to keep our communities informed and safe, and  

  • provide a starting point for new projects looking for emergency grants and funding opportunities to cover the COVID-19 crisis 

 

Mapping the infodemic:  

The Index on Censorship and the Justice for Journalists Foundation have created an initiative, Disease Control?, to map and monitor attacks on the media and freedom of expression due to the coronavirus. Incidents are color-coded by type, and can be clicked on to find out more. There is also a reporting form to add new incidents to the map as they occur.

Odipo Dev and #NationNewsplex are documenting and tracking the course of the coronavirus in eastern Africa with interactive maps, linked articles and regularly updated graphics and charts.

The researchers and journalists at the European Journalism Observatory have created a comprehensive global analysis of how media outlets worldwide are covering the coronavirus crisis, organized by country.

The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) at the Poynter Institute has created several infographics, interactive maps and a large database as part of theCoronaVirusFacts Alliance, which – in English, Spanish and Portuguese – allows users to quickly and effectively find accurate information about the infodemic around the world. By using simple tools, a shared spreadsheet and instant messaging appsCoronaVirusFacts / DatosCoronaVirus has brought together over 100 fact-checkers from around the world to collaborate on this massive crowdsourcing projectpublishing more than 3,500 fact-checking articles and weekly reports pointing out misinformation and disinformation trends, and discussing ways to improve the odds in the battle against COVID-19 hoaxes.

Public health mythbusting: 

The World Health Organization regularly updates their mythbuster page with useful information rebutting the major false narratives circulating around the world about COVID-19. As part of this project, their rebuttals are presented with punchy, memorable graphics that can be downloaded, shared and printed out.  

Introductions to COVID-19 fact-checking: 

Snopesone of the earliest fact-checking sites on the internet, is now also providing fact-checked categories of COVID-19 news such as origins, treatment, and government responses.  

Politifact has a quick primer on seven ways to avoid misinformation during the pandemic. 

The Poynter Institute’s readers’ guide readers’ guide to understanding what you need to know about the coronavirus” approaches it from the perspective of the news-consuming public.  

COVID-19 fact-checking toolbox: 

What to consider before you forward that latest corona video to friends and family! A short primer produced by Digger , a project byDW Innovation ,Fraunhofer IDMT andATC , aims to use both visual verification and audio forensic technologies to detect shallow fakes as well as deepfakes or synthetic media. 

Bellingcat has produced a short video overview of the Coronavirus Disinformation System, as well as a a toolbox of investigative tools and advice useful to journalists, news consumers and fact-checkers. 

NewsGuard runs the Coronavirus Misinformation Tracking Center , which lists websites by country that publish false health information or embrace conspiracy theories in place of solid facts and research 

First Draft News has produced Basic Toolkit for Coronavirus Fact-Checking . 

COVID-19 fact-checking projects from around the world: 

As one of the global pioneers in fact-checking, AfricaCheck provides vital factsheets about numerous topics. Here they turn their attention to the coronavirus with specific information pertaining to numerous countries on the continent, in particular South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal. They also maintain an Africa-specific guide to misinformation circulating about the virus. 

A project by Info Sonica in Guatemala , supported by Deutsche Welle, is fighting disinformation targeting young people via social media. 

COVID19Misinfo.org is a Canadian research project at Ryerson University that both attempts to directly address the current pandemic and to study it, in order to better prepare for the next public health crisis. 

MythDetector is a fact-checking NGO based in Georgia, founded in response to Russian disinformation campaigns circulating in the region, that has now expanded to include debunking misinformation about COVID-19. 

The AUGame Studio at American University in Washington D.C. developed Factitious 2020 - a corona pandemic video gameappropriate for all ages and classroom use, where users have to read short news stories and swipe right if they think they are real and swipe left if they think they are fake. 

Latam Chequea Coronavirus Project unites 28 fact-checking organizations from 16 Latin American countries and Spain, and aims to help journalists and checkers to cover coronavirus so they can find reliable information more quickly and simply. 

The Kini News Lab is mapping the COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia using innovative data visualization techniques. 

Illustrating how making information available in local languages can save lives, DW Akademie provides an overview of translation and journalistic projects from Uganda to Ecuador. 

Funding for COVID-19 specific projects: 

The Global Investigative Journalism Network maintains a list of funding opportunities for journalists and publishersresponding both to the increased pressure small and medium-sized media organizations are under due to the pandemic, and to the urgent need for good reporting on COVID-19 and its consequences. 

The Lenfest Institute also maintains a list of possible funding sources to support reporting on COVID-19, as does KnowCapp , which lists available grants based on funding location and granting agency type. The Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) also maintains a list. 

Journalism education: 

Through its Journalism Nowplatform, Thomson Foundation is providing a series of free online courses that cover safety while reporting on COVID-19, the verification of facts (in partnership with First Draft), and content production – in English, Spanish, Arabic, French, Ukrainian and Russian. 

The The Society for Professional Journalists maintains a list of online resources specifically about COVID-19, SARS, various strains of influenza (Avian, Swine) as well as the 1918 Spanish flu epidemicIt encompasses not only an exhaustive list of government and official data sources, but also sections on fact-checking, student media and media coverage of the pandemic. 

In collaboration with public health experts and Oxford University, the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism synthesizes 11 concise tips for how journalists can help stop the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. 

The The Newsroom Guide to COVID-19 is guide specifically to help newsroom managers provide guidance and keep full-time staff, freelancers, and newsroom leaders safe so they can continue the essential work of informing the public during this crisis. Similarly, in an interview with DW, the Media Development Investment Fund discusses ways to minimize the impact of the corona crisis on media businesses. 

The Global Investigative Journalism Network has an article with tips for using open source tools for the purposes of fact-checking when reporting from home. 

From safety for journalists to #mediaviability and dealing with #disinformation on the #coronavirusDW Akademie has put together ashort list of resources for media workers in the #COVID19 crisis. 

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