Want to Help Tackle Disinformation? Train Your Community to Stop the Spread of False Information

By: ICFJ | 07/11/2023

The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) will equip professionals who are passionate about tackling disinformation to hold workshops and events for their communities, helping more people spot and push back against harmful, false information that can undermine democracy, endanger people’s wellbeing and more.

ICFJ is now accepting applications for this “training of trainers” opportunity from individuals in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). It is part of Disarming Disinformation, a three-year global project run by ICFJ with lead funding from the Scripps Howard Fund.

“Our goal is to equip journalists and community leaders across the world with the knowledge and skills to empower their local communities,” ICFJ Senior Program Director Paul Rothman said. “Effectively combating disinformation and fostering healthy, fact-based information ecosystems requires community-level awareness and action.”

Applicants will be invited to attend a four-hour online course (in English) led by The Poynter Institute’s MediaWise. After the online course, five applicants will be selected from each region to attend an in-person training, before each receives a $2,000 grant to implement their own community events and workshops. While this opportunity is not limited to journalists, applicants should have previous experience with disinformation issues and the credibility needed to build trust with their future trainees.

Applications will close Aug. 4 and the online course will take place three days after, on Aug. 7 from 12-4 pm GMT. The immersive online course will be open to all participants and will cover a wide range of essential topics such as news literacy, media and information literacy, the seven types of mis- and disinformation, and fact-checking tools such as geolocation.

Candidates who do not attend the online course will not be considered in the subsequent stage of the selection process for the in-person training and grant. Those who want to attend the online course but do not want to be considered for the grant selection will be able to select this option in the application form.

In-Person Training and Grants

This year, Disarming Disinformation will award 20 grants (five in each of the four target regions) in the amount of USD 2,000 each to support grantees in developing, organizing and executing their own trainings. Grantees will be announced by the end of August and invited to the in-person Training of Trainers session (the exact time and location will be confirmed soon).

The training will be focused on deepening participants’ technical expertise in areas such as the use of fact-checking and verification tools, as well as audience engagement and training. These sessions will be run by MediaWise, in collaboration with local partners from each of the target regions: Africa Check (Africa), FactCrescendo (Asia), Fatabyyano (MENA) and Media Development Foundation (Europe). 

“We could not be more excited to collaborate with ICFJ on their Disarming Disinformation Training of Trainers program, and to work with distinguished regional partners to implement training that will resonate in their regional environments,” said Brittani Kollar, the international training manager at Mediawise. “False information, whether intentional or not, harms our global society. Through localized training, individuals will learn techniques relevant to them to assist in stopping the spread of false information."

After the training, grantees will go back to their countries where they will be expected to develop and organize their own events and workshops for at least 60 people before June 2024. 

If applying for a grant, keep in mind that candidates must:

  • Attend the initial four-hour online training on Aug. 7
  • Be willing to attend the in-person event
  • Develop and execute their own trainings before June 2024
  • Have the ability to communicate in English – both online and in-person trainings will be in English
  • Have a minimum set of previous knowledge to train other people on disinformation issues. It is not mandatory to be a journalist, but successful candidates need to be in a trusted position in their communities in order to create the environment needed to impact trainees. 

Disarming Disinformation is run by ICFJ with lead funding from the Scripps Howard Fund. The three-year project will empower journalists and journalism students to fight disinformation. 

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