Google has announced a USD 1 million Google.org grant that will help Internews launch a new initiative promoting news literacy among the Indian public. The funding support is part of Google.org’s broader, USD 10 million commitment to media literacy, in collaboration with the Google News Initiative.
The spread of misinformation is something the Google News Initiative (GNI) India Training Network—a group of 240 senior Indian reporters and journalism educators—has been working to counteract, in their newsrooms and beyond.
In partnership with DataLeads and Internews, the Network has provided in-depth verification training for more than 15,000 journalists and students from more than 875 news organizations, in 10 Indian languages. Using a “train-the-trainer” approach, it’s also helped support nearly all of the fact-checking initiatives launched by Indian media over the past year.
How will it work? First, Internews will select a team of 250 journalists, fact checkers, academics and NGO workers, who will be trained on a curriculum developed by global and Indian experts, adapted to local needs and available in seven Indian languages. The local leaders will then roll out the training to new internet users in non-metro cities in India, enabling them to better navigate the internet and assess the information they find.
Concern about misinformation was especially pronounced around last year’s Indian general election—where more than 600 million people voted in the biggest democratic exercise in history.
Internews is putting the call out for journalists, educators, community workers and others to join the new program.