BBC takes the battle against ‘fake news’ global

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MUMBAI: The BBC has set out its ambition to be a global leader in the fight against fake news, which is creating a huge decline in global audiences’ trust in news overall.

The BBC’s World Service Group will spearhead this, putting a major focus on global media literacy, and culminating in a live global broadcast bringing together young people from around the world to discuss how trust in media can be restored. Plans include:

The plan includes to build on the work that has already been done by School Report in the UK, and BBC Hindi, through the year the UK pubcaster will also be developing materials that can be rolled out globally to help young people combat fake and false news and information.

BBC’s Reality Check service will be launched in more parts of the world.

The group will also organise a global full-day media literacy event where teenagers from around the world will be brought together in a live broadcast to talk about the challenges they face in their home countries in assessing news, sharing ideas about solutions for the future. This will include broadcasts from Beirut, Nairobi, and Mumbai or Delhi.

A global survey on media trust issues, and a clickable map of fake news stories allowing audiences to see a heat map of disinformation around the world.

BBC Director, news and current affairs Fran Unsworth said, “The BBC has already been doing a lot to tackle the scourge of fake news – whether through Reality Check fact-checking claims and coming to a judgment, our journalists going into schools to educate youngsters or this brilliant game we’re launching in the UK today.

“But this is a global problem. Its vital people have access to the news they can trust – and know how to distinguish between fact and fiction. Broadcasters and the rest of the news industry have a responsibility to tackle fake news, and I want to use the BBC’s global reach to lead the way.”

In a drive to combat fake news, the BBC has launched BBC iReporter, an online interactive game to help young people in the UK identify ‘fake news’.

The game, launched on BBC School Report News Day and developed by Academy Award-winning studios Aardman, allows players to experience being a BBC journalist in the heart of the newsroom. BBC iReporter has a ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ style which gives the player first-hand experience of working in a newsroom facing the fast-paced pressures behind covering a breaking news story, whilst maintaining impeccable accuracy, impact, and speed and navigating the various pitfalls thrown up by potential fake news elements. The game is designed for 11-18-year-olds for use on mobile, tablet and desktop.

This is part of the broader BBC School Report national programme to help 11-18 year olds to identify fake and false stories by developing their critical thinking and media literacy skills. Resources will be available for young people and teachers across the UK via the School Report website. In addition, more than 100 BBC journalists, including Huw Edwards, Tina Daheley, Nikki Fox, Kamal Ahmed and Amol Rajan, will deliver workshops in schools and a roadshow of events will take place across the country.


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