DJMC hosts workshop on tools and strategies to verify online content

Department of Journalism and Mass Communication (DJMC), Government College for Women, M. A. Road, Srinagar organised an online workshop on ‘Social Media Audit: Tools and strategies to monitor social media and online content’ on May 29, 2021 (Saturday). Google News Initiative certified trainer, Dr. Archana Kumari was the resource person of the workshop.

Students from semesters 1, 2, 4 and 6 attended the session held via Google Meet. As part of its India training network, the Google News Initiative has been conducting workshops for students and journalists to train them in verification of online content to counter fake news. Department of Journalism, GCW M.A. Road has been regularly hosting GNI trainers with similar workshops held in 2018 and 2020 earlier.

Dr. Archana works as Assistant Professor at Department of Mass Communication and New Media at Central University of Jammu. She comes with a rich academic experience of over 10 years with previous teaching stints at IIMC, New Delhi, Central University of Kashmir, and Central University of Bihar. She has also been working as a Fact-Checking Trainer, training hundreds of journalists and students in last two years.

Citing statistics, Dr. Archana said social media has assumed a central role in people’s lives with nearly 3.6 billion users across the world.  She also referred to the exponential increase in the number of social media users in India which serves as the largest user base for platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp and YouTube.

With more and more people relying on social media for news updates, Dr. Archana spelt out the concerns related to fake and unsubstantial reports going viral on these popular platforms with dangerous consequences.

In the backdrop of the overwhelming flood of misinformation, the resource person demonstrated the use of various tools and techniques to ascertain the veracity of social media content. She cited relevant examples related to monitoring of Facebook , Twitter, YouTube and verifying websites.

The workshop focused on the menace of fake news content, including photographs and videos.  Deliberating on the Google News initiative, Dr. Archana provided an overview of various useful resources to bust fake information.

The demonstration part was followed by Q&A session in which the resource person answered the queries of the students.

Head, Department of Journalism, Dr Suhail Ahmad moderated the proceedings of the workshop. At the outset, he underlined the importance of fact-checking in contemporary times, stating that journalism students need to be trained in differentiating authentic information from fake content. Dr. Suhail said the department hosted similar fact checking and verification workshops with Google News Initiative certified trainers in November 2018 and October 2020 and expressed hope for more such productive collaborations in future as well.

DCJ faculty member, Ms. Beenish Ali presented formal vote of thanks on the occasion.

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