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Workshops on misinformation, fake news

The University of Nevada (UNR), Reno, partnered with PII-RIND to facilitate a series of workshops on Misinformation and Fake News for journalists. The project was set up by the Reynolds School of Journalism, University of Nevada, Reno, and PII-RIND to empower journalists to fight the menace of fake news and misinformation. Paromita Pain was the main point of contact from the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). UNR was looking to train journalists from the south and west of India, especially women reporters and editorial staff. The training and modules were provided free of charge. Journalists who attended the training sessions were paid a stipend for their time.

The project consisted of three parts. In the first part, a survey was made among journalists from South India, especially women reporters and editorial staff to measure baseline knowledge levels about online fake news among journalists and the modules were created based on the questions and doubts raised. Based on the survey, UNR research faculty curated the initial list of journalists for the training. Since the project was set up with assistance from a federal grant, UNR had certain requirements to meet. Journalists had to be relatively new to the field and had to be from the south and west of India. Once the modules were done, the training sessions began from May 2021. There were five sessions in all. The trainers were Vansh Madan and Siddharth Kapoor from Youth Leaders, a pan Indian organisation with expertise in training audiences in the use of social media and other news related technologies. About a dozen journalists benefited.