AFP, Google News Initiative Launch Digital Investigation Courses to Combat Election Disinformation

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Fabrice Fries, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Agence France-Presse (AFP), a French international news agency with its headquarters in Paris, has partnered with Google News Initiative (GNI) to offer free, multilingual open courses to empower media professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the complexities of the digital age and combat the growing threat of misinformation in the journalism landscape. GNI was launched by Google in 2018 with the stated mission of working with journalists, publishers, and industry leaders to help build a resilient future for news around the globe.

The newly introduced two-part course focuses on tackling election disinformation with the curriculum covering critical aspects, including understanding the financial landscape of political advertisements, monitoring online activity, identifying and verifying various forms of disinformation circulating before, during, and after an election, and collaborating on investigative projects.

Participants in the courses will benefit from the expertise of AFP’s global digital investigations team, recognized as the world’s largest team of fact-checkers with a practical curriculum that includes learning with examples, quizzes, and valuable tips.

The courses also cover a diverse range of skills for digital investigations, such as efficient online searches, tracing the origin of photos or videos, online safety, and archiving evidence. Specific modules delve into tackling election disinformation, verifying climate-related claims, advancing social media search techniques, geolocation skills using online maps, and identifying reliable sources on health topics.

Designed to be flexible and accessible, the courses cater to journalists and journalism students seeking to enhance their digital investigation skills. Each course offers a flexible duration, with most modules estimated to take 45 minutes to an hour, accommodating participants with varying levels of experience.

Upon completion, participants can obtain certificates after progressing through every lesson, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the digital investigation techniques covered.

Interested individuals can apply by visiting the course portal at https://digitalcourses.afp.com/.