Guwahati: The U.S. Consulate General Kolkata, in partnership with Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) and with the support of the Guwahati Press Club hosted a workshop forjournalists in Guwahati. The media literacy event is part of a series of workshop that the U.S. Consulate Kolkata is implementing with CUTS International to empower journalists in the region.
Speaking virtually at the inaugural session of the workshop, Juan Clar, Assistant Public Affairs Officer, Deputy Director of the American Center, US Consulate General Kolkata emphasised that,“Verification and fact-checking platforms are much needed now to navigate the inaccurate information circulating on traditional and social media platforms.” He added that, United States and India being two large democracies in the world, the United States is committed to collaborate with India and exchange knowledge, technology, and good practices to combat the spread of misinformation that challenge the sustainability of democratic institutions in the Indo-Pacific.
Arnab Ganguly, Associate Director, CUTS International underlined the key objectives of the workshop and mentioned that the workshop aims at providing hands on training to the journalists to fact check. He also underlined the need for developing a collaboration of journalists that would help in creating an informal platform for identifying and combatting misinformation, and fake news.He further added that these regional workshops are being organized as part of the suggestions received from the journalists from the Indo-Pacific countries at the international media workshop hosted in Kolkata during August 11-12, 2022 at the American Center.
Durba Ghosh, Bureau Chief, PTI, Guwahati, mentioned that there is an urgent need to build capacity of journalists on how to identify and counter fake news to help them overcome the deluge of speculative and sensational content in news making, and make news bias free.She also shared her experience and key learnings from the Kolkata workshop organised by CUTS International with the support of the US Consulate Kolkata, and in collaboration with South Asian Women in Media (SAWM) and East West Center (EWC).
Divya Chandra, Fact Checker, Boom Live, was the main resource person for the workshop. She spoke on how to differentiate between misinformation and disinformation; how to debunk online misinformation using tools and observation skills; increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) in misinformation space; and how to write a fact-check article.
The workshop was attended by over 30 journalists who are based in Guwahati and report on various issues pertaining to the Northeast India.