First Draft Australia's Student Action Day — exposing misinformation
30 April 2019
Dozens of students from across the APAC region came together to learn how to fight misinformation in the lead up to the election. UTS students headed to the CMT office to attend the training day facilitated by First Draft Australia's bureau editor, Anne Kruger, and First Draft research reporter, Olivia Rosenman.
Meanwhile, students from universities including RMIT University in Melbourne, AUT in New Zealand, HKU in Hong Kong and QUT in Queensland also attended the day remotely via video conference.
The session started with an introduction from First Draft founder and executive director Dr Claire Wardle who beamed in from First Draft HQ in London. Claire told the students they would be given the chance to interact with journalists who are also training in cross-checking and verification. She added: "The skills you’ll develop over the next few weeks will keep you head and shoulders above your peers when you go out to workforce ... There are very few journalists who know how to find misinformation, how to verify it and how to report on it responsibly.”
[Attendees from Auckland, New York, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Brisbane via video conference]
Claire said a recent report from the Institute for the Future discovered: “Only 15% of US journalists said they had been trained on how to report on misinformation … so these skills will make you incredibly employable. They really matter.”
Anne also explained to the students: "Some of the research I’ve looked at shows Australians will trust quality media and quality outlets but they are most afraid of misinformation in the political sphere. This is where we can actually act and be of service to Australians … we can help restore that public trust.”
During the Action Day students learnt about verification and fact-checking, and began the process of uploading examples of misinformation into the Australian online CrossCheck platform. The platform provides the public with information to form their own conclusions about whether online information is factual or reliable.
Follow us on Twitter to stay up-to-date on how the Australian First Draft bureau is tackling the spread of misinformation during this election campaign.