New Program Will Help Arab Journalists Sort Fact from Fiction on Social Media

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More than two thousand journalists across the Middle East and North Africa will strengthen how they use social media to verify information, engage audiences and protect themselves online, through a new initiative from the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and the Facebook Journalism Project.

The Social Media Solutions program will equip journalists with the latest tools to sort fact from fiction on social media platforms. The curriculum will cover four key areas: verification, security, engagement and storytelling. Expert trainers will teach participants how to identify fake accounts, secure their digital footprint, and involve audiences in the news gathering process, among other critical skills. 

The trainers will hold in-person workshops in Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates. Webinars also will be offered in Arabic to reach even more journalists across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

“For journalists, social media presents more opportunities than ever before to report stories and engage audiences, but it also brings huge challenges,” said ICFJ President Joyce Barnathan. “That’s why teaming up with the Facebook Journalism Project is so key. At a time of rampant misinformation, we aim to strengthen digital journalism worldwide.”

The need for digital and social media training is acute. A recent ICFJ study, the State of Technology in Global Newsrooms, found that nearly 70 percent of newsrooms in the Middle East and North Africa regularly use social media to post stories, but only 41 percent use it to engage audiences. Around half of journalists in the region take no measures to secure their online presence. Globally, just 11 percent of respondents said they are using social media verification tools.

The program is part of the Facebook Journalism Project, which supports journalists by developing products and providing tools and trainings for journalists and newsrooms around the world. 

“It is more important than ever that journalists are equipped with the skills to sort fact from fiction for their storytelling,” said Fares Akkad, Head of Media Partnerships, MEA, and Turkey at Facebook. “That's why we're proud to partner with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) to train 2,500 journalists in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.” 

Interested in hearing from us about training dates, topics, and trainers? Sign up for more information here

If you’re a news organization, university, newsroom, or journalist association and would like to partner with us on this program, sign up here.

About ICFJ:

ICFJ empowers journalists to deliver trustworthy news essential for vibrant societies. Working at the nexus of journalism and technology, we build the expertise and storytelling skills of reporters worldwide. We promote high-impact journalism that leads to better lives.

About the Facebook Journalism Project:

The Facebook Journalism Project was created in January 2017 to establish stronger ties between Facebook and the news industry. FJP is dedicated to ensuring high quality journalism thrives by delivering value through new products, partnerships with the news industry and programs. FJP works in three ways: collaborative development of new products; providing tools and trainings for journalists; and providing tools and trainings for people.

 

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