JK News Today

Jammu 20 March: Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at Jammu University organized a one-day workshop on fact-checking, in collaboration with the Google News Initiative (GNI) India Training Network, here today. The workshop aimed to support budding journalists and media educators to counter the spread of misinformation.

Dr. Aditya Kumar Shukla, GNI India Training Network Training Assistance and Professor of Media Studies at Amity University, Madhya Pradesh, was the resource person of the workshop. Dr. Vinit Utpal, Assistant Professor, IIMC Jammu was the guest of honour during the workshop. The event highlighted the importance of fact-checking in today’s digital age, where misinformation can significantly impact public opinion and decision-making.

Dr Garima Gupta, Head of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, emphasized the need of such a workshop to better equip the media students to deal with the present crisis of misinformation, disinformation in the age of fake news. She appreciated the resource person for sharing “red flags” to spot misinformation and combat deep fakes with the use of apt tools and techniques to verify misinformation.

Earlier, Dr. Ravia Gupta, Assistant Professor, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication presented the welcome address on behalf the department.

During the workshop, participants were informed regarding different types of misinformation and various strategies as well as tools to identify and counter online misinformation, particularly in the context of electoral processes. They were also given hands-on training to verify the authenticity of photos, videos, and content by using tools such as Google Lens, Yandex, TinEye, and InVid. The resource person cautioned the participants to step back from obvious messaging and posts that trigger extreme emotions. Also, they were told to be careful of the social media handles that do not always provide credible information.  

Further, the attendees engaged in discussion on how to effectively handle memes that can often be used to spread propaganda or misinformation. They also learned about monitoring Telegram profiles and groups using third-party tools like Google CSEs, TGStat, and Telegram DB search Bot (@tdb_bot).

Participants were urged to “think of intent” of the posts or messages circulated through social media and especially WhatsApp and beware of forwarded messages. They were encouraged to search for the original source, check the language and verify statistics and data.

Faculty members, students of Journalism and Mass Communication and scholars from Department of English participated in the workshop.

Students from the first and final semester of Journalism Department, Vishali Devi and Komal Devi conducted the program successfully.