Short Course on Hands-on Fact-Checking Created to Improve Verification

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Neil Brown, President, The Poynter Institute
Neil Brown, President, The Poynter Institute

The International Fact-Checking Network at the Poynter Institute and the American Press Institute funded by the Google News Initiative have created “Hands-On Fact-Checking: A Short Course” to help journalists improve their fact-verification skills and combat the phenomenon of fake news.

This course is designed as a self-directed course or as a resource for classroom instructors, the approximately 90-minute course includes lessons on identifying reliable sources in fact-checking, debunking viral misinformation, and deciding whether a statement is really checkable.

The course is opened to individuals interested in learning more about fact-checking, journalism students responsible for researching and verifying sources in their reporting and professional journalists responsible for researching and verifying sources in their reporting.
During the course, types of statements that can be fact-checked, questions to ask when verifying content and what tools are available to help validate photos will be learnt.
The course opened on April 2, 2018, the date of the second International Fact-Checking Day which highlights journalistic and research fact-checking efforts around the world. This course demonstrates best practices developed and tested by today’s fact-checking journalists, who face particular challenges posed by misleading rhetoric from politicians and government officials and the use of social media platforms as launching sites for viral misinformation.
Course Instructors will include:
Alexios Mantzarlis who joined Poynter to lead the International Fact-Checking Network in September 2015. In this capacity, he writes about and advocates for fact-checking. He also trains and convenes fact-checkers around the world.
As Director of the IFCN, Alexios has helped draft the fact-checkers’ code of principles, shepherded a partnership between third-party fact-checkers and Facebook, testified to the Italian Chamber of Deputies on the “fake news” phenomenon and helped launch International Fact-Checking Day.

Jane Elizabeth who is the director of accountability journalism at the American Press Institute. She is The Washington Post’s former deputy local editor/digital; and has taught journalism at Old Dominion University, the University of Pittsburgh and Point Park University. A 2017 Knight-Nieman fellow at Harvard University, Jane’s work at five metropolitan U.S. newspapers has focused largely on politics and government.

She holds a master’s degree in mass communications from Virginia Commonwealth University.

And training partner for this course is Google News Initiative (GNI) which is Google’s effort to help journalism thrive in the digital age. Its first focus is to elevate and strengthen quality journalism. For more than four years Google has worked to enable and grow the fact-check ecosystem in collaboration with hundreds of publishers and fact-checking organizations around the world.

To apply, click here.