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elSfK, 16cA7, yBdjH, 35g4x, R64kt, B81i1, 4G37e, 3GN5u, SISL5, IWRnd, h057J, cL29L, bnBqQ, wI82K, f9uds, i2ckp, 2rv5j, bX4NU, eJznJ, C1z72, 8p5l8, t6dNy, GOryK, V08ZX, oG38d, snk4x, 3Tk3H, smcA2, DgUi8, wz5uw, fzazV, f175R, 7733x, S8hxh, i617i, VIyHb, d167D, 9blMg, Np32y, ncdGM, 6iOlk, D94fN, Im8Zc, 10S6C, w99JV, m89Rm, HKT5U, iY7FG, lEn69, YNd40, 44074, IcMI1, h7nm8, 6ynZu, 6S51B, q7aF4, kBMhr, vXvs1, 0hGeI, o7Y82, RPWCJ, vLmk7, 1 News fact-checking now in Bangladesh | The Bangladesh Chronicle

News fact-checking now in Bangladesh

News fact-checking now in Bangladesh

Bangla Tribune Report
Published : 03:00, Jun 06, 2018 
Fact Watch, Bangladesh’s first-ever organisation for verifying accuracy of media reports has started its journey.
The Department of Media Studies and Journalism at University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) has launched ‘Fact Watch’, the first in South Asia, on Tuesday (Jun 5).
Hailing the initiative at the tertiary education level in Bangladesh, analysts termed it as a ‘timely move’.
Fact Watch was set up with a grant of $25,000 from the American Centre on Nov 1 last year. It launched a progamme and a website (www.fact-watch.org) on Tuesday.
Cultural Affairs Officer of US Embassy in Dhaka Julie Nickles and English daily Dhaka Tribune’s Editor Zafar Sobhan unveiled the website at a ceremony on the ULAB campus.
Fact Watch aims to be an impartial organisation focused on deciphering fraudulent statements and misconceptions in Bangladesh’s socio-political environment.
In a bid to accomplish that, Fact Watch will analyse statements made by public figures and politicians, information spread through social media, news items published through mainstream media, and other factors.
Fact Watch’s main aim is to promote awareness among the general public through its journalistic prowess, and ultimately help them make well-informed decisions in the long run.
ULAB’s Professor Sumon Rahman, who advises the Fact Watch team, said, “This initiative is to verify the news published in mainstream media and the information available in social media website including Facebook.”
“Preliminarily, we are using social media, Google search engine and different software for fact-checking with planning for taking research firms’ cooperation in future.”
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Logo of Fact Watch_
Citing a recent example, Rahman said, “Images of an elderly woman went viral in Facebook. It was claimed she was the mother of a Bangladesh civil servant, who dumped his mother at a railway station. Later, we used technology to fact-check the image. We found that it was originated from an Indian old home and the picture was taken from Shutterstock, a US-based photography provider.”
Rahman, however, said they were yet to be equipped to run fact checks for investigative stories run by the mainstream media.
“Anyone can approach to us to verify any news or information and its’s free.
“Right now, we are fact-checking some selected reports and publishing it on our website”, he added.
Asked on how much this initiative will play effective role on objective journalism, Sohel Haider Chowdhury told Bangla Tribune, “Outside the mainstream media, we can’t consider most of the news from in social media is true.”
“It’s also seen that some mainstream media are also doing the same as the social media does,” said Chowdhury, who is the secretary general of Dhaka Union of Journalists, a platform for Dhaka-based journalists.
According to him, the move should have come from the government and public universities. “ULAB’s initiative will encourage other institutions to come forward.”
While launching the website, Dhaka Tribune Editor Zafar Sobhan said in his speech: “There is no reason why students in Bangladesh should lack behind those in other parts of the world. They can be leaders and pioneers, and can set examples for the rest of the world to follow. Fact Watch is going to be such an example.”
Fact Watch’s main aim is to promote awareness among the general public through its journalistic prowess, and ultimately help them make well-informed decisions in the long run.
“It is a wonderful initiative for us all,” said Sobhan. “Not only will it be useful for citizens, Fact Watch will also be able to distinguish between true news and false.”
Among others, Vice-Chancellor of ULAB Prof HM Jahirul Haque, Head of School of Social Science Jude William R Genilo, and other teachers and students were present during the program.

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