‘Defend truth, fight disinformation’

Assistant Public Affairs Officer at the United States Consulate General, Hyderabad, Frankie Sturm underlined the importance of citizens’ duties and responsibilities to defend the truth, while countering disinformation and misinformation in all possible ways.

Addressing a two-day workshop on ‘Countering Disinformation for Telugu TV Reporters’, jointly organised by Osmania University’s department of Journalism and Mass Communication, and the U.S. Consulate General, Hyderabad, at the CFRD building on the varsity campus on Monday, Mr. Sturm said it is imperative to have a wider discussion on the issue of misinformation and disinformation.

“Misinformation threatens the foundations of democracy, because we can’t get together and debate the big issues of the day if we don’t have a shared understanding of basic facts,” Mr. Sturm observed, adding, “This workshop will improve the information environment — and thus the underpinnings of democracy — by equipping journalists with additional skills to spot misinformation and provide reliable news to the public. Osmania University has already conducted over 100 hours of training on countering disinformation, and we look forward to more such training.”

The project ‘Countering Disinformation for Telugu TV Reporters’ is a 90-hour training session to train TV journalists as verification experts. Both offline and online training has been conducted for the past six months.

University Vice-Chancellor D. Ravinder thanked the U.S. Consulate General, Hyderabad, for having chosen the 104-year-old educational institute to train Telugu journalists. He urged media “to cross-check facts before making news public as unverified information can damage the reputation of individuals and organisations. Hence, media ought to be balanced and fair”.

Project coordinator and head of the host department Stevenson Kohir said the first-of-its-kind training programme evoked an overwhelming response from the participants.

Alanna Suzanne Dvorak, International Training Manager, IFCN Poynter, and Anantha Sudhakar Bobbili, Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi, addressed the participants and shared their expertise on the topic.

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Printable version | Sep 14, 2022 8:51:12 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/defend-truth-fight-disinformation/article65746088.ece