The FactShala Ambassador Programme is an educational video series – a joint partnership between FactShala and MediaWise, offering viewers practical skills and useful tools that can be adopted to sort facts from fiction online. The Programme will comprise eminent journalists and newsroom leaders to fight misinformation.
December 20, 2023, New Delhi, India: FactShala, India’s largest media literacy network run by DataLEADS, has partnered with MediaWise of the Poynter Institute to launch an educational video series in India, with support from Google News Initiative. The effort – FactShala Ambassador Programme – will collaborate with prominent journalists in India to offer viewers practical skills and useful tools that can be adopted to sort facts from fiction online.
The video series – to be launched in multiple languages – has been designed with the viewer in mind, encompassing easy tips and tools, enabling users to assess the credibility of information online and reach trustworthy sources. Topics for the video series shall include detecting misleading data visualizations, verifying manipulated images and deep fakes, employing critical thinking techniques through lateral reading (i.e., comparing different sources of news), identifying signs of misinformation, and how to converse with friends and family on misinformation.
Ritu Kapur, Managing Director and Co-Founder of The Quint, who embodies the spirit of this initiative, will serve as the first English-language Ambassador for the Programme. In this role, Ritu will walk viewers through skills and techniques they can use when navigating the information ecosystem. “In a country as diverse as India, the FactShala Ambassador Programme stands as a beacon, reaching, engaging and empowering individuals to champion media literacy,” said Ms Ritu Kapur , who also serves on the advisory board of the prestigious Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (University of Oxford). “The Programme aims to foster a generation equipped to discern fact from fiction, ensuring fact-checking becomes a reflex for everyone, thereby shaping a more informed and resilient society.”
Ritu’s leadership and commitment for social change has been well demonstrated throughout her career. She is a distinguished figure within the media industry and has been a pivotal force in driving change within the media and information landscape. Her extensive contributions span significant milestones, notably as a founding member of Network 18 in 1992 and as a trailblazer who spearheaded The Citizen Journalist Show on IBN in early 2000s, earning accolades for her groundbreaking work. Her tenure as features editor during the launch of Network 18’s English-language news channel, formerly recognized as CNN-IBN, further underscores her impactful journey within the media realm.
“We’re honored and excited to partner with the Poynter Institute to give people the tools and confidence to engage with the modern media landscape. The launch of this project is a great step forward in accelerating the growth of media literacy in India,” said Syed Nazakat, Founder & CEO, DataLEADS. “Every Indian should have access to high quality and trustworthy information that equips them with competences to think critically about the information they consume, create and share everyday. We are proud to work with India’s leading thought leaders such as Ritu Kapur to foster media literacy for all.”
“We’re excited to continue our work helping anyone fight misinformation around the world,” said MediaWise Director Alex Mahadevan. “And it’s particularly important as we continue to see the effects of falsehoods online spill out into the real world.”
“We are pleased to continue our partnership with industry experts and trusted journalism voices that are collaborating to find new ways to tackle the ever-evolving challenge of misinformation online, look for sustainable ways to transfer critical thinking skills and scale the reach of media literacy efforts,” said Surabhi Malik, Google News Lab Lead in India. “Programs
like the FactShala Ambassador will go a long way to help users build resilience against online misinformation, help reduce its harm and is hence a step in the right direction.”
To learn more about the FactShala Ambassador Programme, visit: https://factshala.com/ambassador-programme/.