MEMO 98 has cooperated with the Prague based Transitions, the Independent Journalism Foundation (Hungary), the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs, the Media Initiatives Center (Armenia) and the Linking Media (Poland) on a project called "Debunking Disinformation: A Training Program for Journalism Students and Professional Journalists" which was supported by the Visegrad Fund. The main focus of the project was to help verification school trainees, university students, and the wider public to better identify doctored multimedia content or fake text content. Local project partners did localization and promotion of tools to the target audiences while trainers used these tools in all activities (training for journalists in universities, working on amendments to curricula, in verification school) to promote them.
Our expert participated in the verification school organized in Georgia in order to enhance skills of up to 18 best journalists from local independent media in information verification and fighting fakes. The school opened with an initial 5-day workshop and closed with the workshop of the same duration. In between, there was a 4-day mid-term workshop for students to come together with trainers and discuss the progress of their training projects/ask questions on assignments with their media that were related to information verification. In between workshops, trainers offered online support in the form of weekly webinars, to support students in their current assignments in media related to identifying and fighting fakes, and on the progress of their projects.
In the framework of the project, experts reached out to leading universities in Georgia and together with these universities' journalism tutors develop changes to curricula to encompass topics on the presence, identification, and fighting disinformation campaigns. In order to test changes into curricula, see the reaction of students, and prepare both students and tutors to the introduction of new subject, project experts ran at daily workshops on premises of universities for students to introduce theory and practice of fighting fakes, test reactions, and collect feedback to further implement it in curricula.