Register Now: Join ICFJ's Empowering the Truth Global Summit

By: ICFJ | 02/22/2024

Journalists in every corner of the world will come together once per week in March to learn tools and strategies for elevating truthful information above the tide of misinformation, as part of ICFJ’s second annual Empowering the Truth Global Summit.

The summit offers a series of online training sessions in seven languages, led by experts with regional knowledge. Journalists, fact-checkers and students will learn skills to help them amplify the reach of reliable facts and use innovative means to produce factual content.

They also will be eligible for funding to pursue groundbreaking ways to better distribute facts online, including through collaborations, subject matter experts or by leveraging new technologies.

“Journalists need to build their audience reach, but they also need to work to ensure that their audience trusts them,” said Paul Rothman, the senior program director at ICFJ who runs the Disarming Disinformation initiative. “These efforts are particularly vital now, in a year when voters will go to the polls in 81 countries and generative AI threatens to supercharge lies.”

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The inaugural summit, in 2023, drew more than 1,800 attendees from 129 countries - evidence of the appetite worldwide for this kind of programming.

The 2024 summit will cover building networks and alliances, reaching difficult-to-reach or marginalized audiences, strengthening audience trust, and leveraging AI. It has expanded from offering training in five languages to seven: Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. The speaker lineup features more than 30 experts, with sessions such as: 

  • ICFJ Knight Fellow Nikita Roy of NRI Nation on how journalists can leverage artificial intelligence
  • ICFJ Knight Fellow Laura Zommer of Factchequado on how to build and use alliances and networks to grow your reach and impact
  • Eric Nahon of the European Journalism Training Association on audience engagement and design

Following the summit, participants who attend at least three of the four sessions will be eligible to apply for grants and mentorship to develop innovative multimedia projects that break new ground in spreading factual information. In 2023, 16 grantees received funding and mentorship to support a variety of projects, such as: 

  • Syrine Abidi’s Student Fact Checker Network created curriculum and training to equip students in the Middle East and North Africa with the tools needed to fight misinformation, especially in medicine and economics.
  • Lucas Illanes of ChequeaBolivia created Checki, a chatbot that fights political disinformation. 
  • Chowoo Willy’s network in Uganda connected news outlets and sign language interpreters to fight disinformation in deaf communities. Gulu city officials are now considering his project a model for municipal government programming on digital inclusion. 
  • Jinesh V.S. of India fought the 100 most-circulated pieces of misinformation and reached over 2.5 million people through Telugu-language videos.

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Disarming Disinformation is run by ICFJ with lead funding from the Scripps Howard Fund, which supports The E.W. Scripps Company’s charitable efforts. The three-year project is empowering journalists and journalism students to fight disinformation.

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