BBC Director of News to host Belgrade conference on fake news challenges

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Director of BBC News and Current Affairs, Francesca Unsworth, will host the “Fake News” and Elections: Challenges for the Media and Audiences conference in Belgrade on Wednesday 26 February.

The one-day conference will feature BBC journalists and experts from the UK, Serbia and across the Balkans to discuss the role “fake news” plays in general elections and the ways to tackle misinformation.

Francesca Unsworth says:  “The BBC is committed to fighting ‘fake news’ and disinformation, and for this forum in Belgrade we are getting together with colleagues from the Balkans’ leading news media to have a conversation about the various forms disinformation can take, and to share our experience of dealing with it.  We’ll look at how we can help audiences navigate an incredibly complex flow of claims and counterclaims that we all face every day.”

The conference will discuss reporting the influence of closed social-media groups, the role of targeted political advertising, and the tools journalists can employ to monitor and counter the spread of misinformation.

The BBC is part of an international effort to fight disinformation through the Trusted News Initiative (TNI) – a BBC-convened partnership linking media organisations and social-media platforms.  The TNI has developed a shared early-warning system to alert partners about disinformation that has the potential to become viral and cause significant harm to the integrity of elections. The TNI is also used for alerting partner media organisations of the misuse of trusted news brands. The partnership includes the BBC, Facebook, Microsoft, Google/YouTube, Twitter, The Wall St Journal, The Hindu, the EBU, the Financial Times, CBC/Radio Canada, AFP, Reuters, First Draft, and The Reuters Institute for the Study of  Journalism.

The BBC conducts media education via projects such as Young Reporter and My World, and exposes and debunks “fake news” through content such as Reality Check and BBC Trending – drawing on open-source media insights provided by its specialist division, BBC Monitoring.


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