Google has announced $6.5 million in funding to fact-checkers and non-profit organisations fighting misinformation globally around novel coronavirus. The funding is being given as part of Google News Initiative (GNI) which is also providing an online resource hub, dedicated training and crisis simulations for reporters covering COVID-19 all over the globe. "To help, we're supporting Data Leads in partnership with BOOM Live in India and Africa Check in Nigeria to leverage data from Question Hub. This will be complemented by an effort to train 1,000 journalists across India and Nigeria to spot health misinformation," said Alexios Mantzarlis, Lead of News and Information Credibility at Google News Lab.
The GNI's ï¿½First Draft' is using its extensive CrossCheck network to help newsrooms respond quickly and address escalating content that is causing confusion and harm. "Access to primary expert sources during an evolving public health crisis is both challenging and fundamental for journalists covering the story," said Google. To make this easier, the tech giant is providing funding to SciLine, based at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Australian Science Media Centre, creators of Scimex.org.
"We're supporting the creation of a database for reporters developed by the journalism technology nonprofit Meedan in partnership with public health experts," informed Mantzarlis. The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) continues to advocate for fact-checkers worldwide."Our renewed support will boost their efforts to uphold best practices in the fact-checking field and showcase the work of the CoronaVirusFacts alliance," said Google. The company said that it is making more local Google Trends data available for journalists, health organisations and local authorities to help them understand people's information needs around the world. "Our online resources are being updated to support the vital work journalists are doing. The GNI Training Center has tools for data journalism and verification in 16 languages, and our global team of Teaching Fellows is delivering workshops entirely online in 10 languages," informed the company.