April 5, 2022

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (April 5, 2022) – Six fact-checking organizations from Germany, Spain, Peru, Jordan, Mongolia and Colombia have been selected to receive funding from the Global Fact-Checking Mentorship Program.

With support from Meta, the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) at the Poynter Institute, a global nonprofit committed to journalistic excellence, will grant $300,000 to this cohort of seasoned fact-checkers to help slow the spread of misinformation worldwide. The mentors will develop a robust, six-month curriculum to help newsrooms and rising fact-checking entities build capacity, scale efforts and sustain operations. 

“The IFCN is thrilled to offer mentorship opportunities for the global fact-checking community,” said Alanna Dvorak, international training project manager of the IFCN. “Thanks to support from Meta, this peer-to-peer program will help fact-checkers, news organizations and other partners — especially those with limited access to critical resources — learn from organizations on the ground and with deep knowledge on how to approach the problem of mis- and disinformation.”

Each mentor will design a curriculum around the area of their expertise for up to five mentees. Real-world application will follow a variety of lesson plans such as detecting misinformation on social media, communicating fact checks in innovative formats, industry collaboration, media literacy, training and operations, and health and science misinformation.

“Since launching our fact-checking program in 2016, we’ve heard feedback from our partners that learning from one another is vital to the continued innovation and strength of the industry. We are thrilled to be launching a more formalized way to build new relationships and skills through the Global Fact-Checking Mentorship Program,” said Caroline Alexander, Program Manager, News Integrity at Meta.

Meet the mentors and learn more about their expertise

dpa-Infocom GmbH (Germany) | Boost your fact-checking training

This global news agency offers custom training for fact-checkers to hone their skills and improve the quality of their services. As experts in journalism instruction and verification methods, dpa established its own e-learning platform, dpa-factify.com, which is packed with educational videos, one-pagers and interactive exercises for fact-checkers. Video consultations are available in English, French, Dutch or German, and highly effective for onboarding new fact-checkers or expanding business operations. 

Fatabyyano (Jordan) | Drawing out the health fact-checking protocol

Fatabyyano provides fact-checkers with the tools, techniques and resources to investigate health misinformation and disinformation. The training addresses the different types of medical studies, the most common mistakes journalists make when dealing with medical articles, and reasons why people believe health misinformation. By the end of this program, the mentor and mentees will work as a group to create well-structured, informative and authentic protocols and guidelines that support the fact-checkers who deal with health-related misinformation around the world. Best practices will be published and translated into six languages.

Maldita.es (Spain) | Advocacy to fight disinformation

Maldita.es is hosting institutional discussions on policies that affect the global fact-checking community and can improve the universal information ecosystem citizens live in. This mentorship will guide organizations on how to define a position on public policies and how to guide their relationships with other stakeholders in order to further their influence, without compromising editorial independence and legitimate interests. After the workshop, mentees will receive personalized sessions for the elaboration of position papers and strategies that will allow them to start or improve the advocacy, lobbying or policy work in their regions.

Nest Center for Journalism Innovation & Development NGO (Mongolia) | Product immersion for fact-checking organizations

This mentorship program is tailored to help fact-checking organizations diversify their income sources by developing fact-checking as a product that serves specific consumer and community needs. Inspired by the media industry’s journey to instill an audience-centered product approach, the program focuses on building a product-thinking culture within the fact-checking newsroom, starting from listening to customer needs to earning additional revenue, while staying compliant with IFCN principles. Mentees will learn to recognize and identify the needs of audiences, build a product team, prototype, measure and iterate the product. As a result, mentees will be able to develop fact-checking products in-house, possibly diversify their organization’s income source and build a community around the values their products create.

BLOGOSFERA PRODUCCIONES SAS: La Silla Vacía (Colombia) | Osint and humor in fact-checking

La Silla Vacía is helping fact-checkers create and produce videos to scale the impact of their verification efforts and reach more people. The team is dedicated to developing and improving digital-first products, especially across social media platforms. La Silla Vacía will teach fact-checkers how to produce effective videos through a series of workshops and a bespoke program to help mentees create a successful audiovisual product. By the end of the program, participants will be able to create a new video product that suits their strategy and needs. The program also features a short digital course that teaches the larger audience how to communicate fact checks with innovative formats.

Asociación Convoca (Peru) | Innovative formats, bigger audiences

Asociación Convoca is teaching fact-checkers how to use innovative formats, such as podcasts and online video games, to develop fact-checking news products for Indigenous communities and young people. The program will train digital fact-checking organizations in the planning and development of a creative workflow to approach innovation based on the public’s specific needs and context. The underlying goal of this project is to provide mentorship on how to use innovation as a transversal element to build effective relationships with unserved audiences, which will in turn result in greater interaction and engagement rates for the organization.  

Applications for mentees are open

With support from Meta, up to $150,000 is available for organizations interested in becoming a mentee. The program is open to IFCN signatories, established fact-checking units and aspiring fact-checking ventures. IFCN accreditation is not required to participate as a mentee. Eligible mentees must commit to completing all required training and assignments and demonstrate an interest in their desired mentorship topic. Selected mentees will receive $5,000 upon completion of the training. Recipients will be selected by a committee made up of representatives from the IFCN and Meta.

The application period for mentees runs from April 5, 2022, to April 29, 2022. The mentorship program officially begins in May 2022 and ends November 2022.

Click here to access the application for mentees.

For more information, contact the IFCN at factchecknet@poynter.org or visit poynter.org/ifcn

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