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Global Fact-checking initiative awards $1 million in grants to combat misinformation

To bolster the fight against misinformation globally, the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) at the Poynter Institute has announced the allocation of $1 million in grants to 20 deserving groups as part of the $12 million Global Fact Check Fund initiative, established with a generous grant from Google and YouTube.

Poynter, a renowned global journalism institute, revealed the winners of the Fund’s second phase, named GROW, on Nov. 13, 2023. These grants are dedicated to developing organisational capacity, competitiveness, and sustainability in local and regional efforts. 

Recall that DUBAWA was among the early beneficiaries of the fund initiative in Oct. 2022 when the IFCN awarded the fact-checking organisation and ten others from eight countries about $450,000 in grants.

According to Angie Drobnic Holan, IFCN’s director, these grants are important in strengthening the global network of fact-checkers. Holan said, “We are heartened by the diversity and innovation of the projects that fact-checking newsrooms have proposed that will increase the reach and impact of their work.”

The funded proposals include a diverse range of initiatives from around the globe. Rappler, a Philippine news organisation led by Nobel Peace Prize awardee Maria Ressa, is set to use the grant as seed money. At the same time, USA Today intends to combat misinformation in Spanish. Deutsche Presse-Agentur, from Germany, will use the grant to train fact-checkers in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland on artificial intelligence (AI). 

The 2021 Myanmar coup prompted Mizzima to establish a fact-checking desk to counteract the surge in misinformation, and the grant will enable the organisation’s sustainability for its mission, including educating Myanmar citizens about media literacy.

The GROW grants offer flexibility, allowing recipients to allocate funds for staffing, program expansion, initiatives to boost content visibility, training, fundraising, implementing data analytics tools, diversifying revenue streams, and fostering partnerships and collaborations.

The full list of GROW recipients includes Africa Check (South Africa), Asocciacion de Periodismo de Investigacion Ojo Publico (Peru), Belarusian Investigative Centre (Belarus), BOOM (India), Demagog.cz (Czech Republic), FastCheck Lab (Hong Kong), Fountain ARIJ International (Jordan), Krik (Serbia), La Diaria (Uruguay), Laksmusz.hu (Hungary), and Les Surligneurs (France). 

Others are Maharat Foundation (Lebanon), Newtral (Spain), The Self-Investigation (the Netherlands), Vera Files (the Philippines), and Verify-Sy (Turkey).

This announcement follows the initial BUILD phase, which granted funds to verified signatories of the IFCN’s Code of Principles. The GROW phase expanded eligibility to non-signatory organizations, provided they had the endorsement of a verified signatory and their projects aimed to advance fact-checking efforts.

Looking ahead to the third phase, the ENGAGE programme, scheduled to accept grant applications from Dec. 1 to Jan. 8, will focus on scaling local and regional audience engagement. The IFCN plans to conduct a question-and-answer session on Dec. 13 to address community queries regarding the ENGAGE grants.

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