01.02.2019 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

Indonesian Communication Schools Adapt UNESCO Manual to Fight Disinformation

Indonesian Communication Schools Adapt UNESCO Manual to Fight Disinformation

The spread of misinformation and disinformation has become a marker in this age of information. Around the world, legislators, judicial actors, and journalists are struggling challenges created by the confusingly termed phenomenon of ‘fake news’.

With this as the background, UNESCO has developed the “Journalism, ‘Fake News’, and Disinformation: A Handbook for Journalists” in 2018. This is meant as an aid to journalism educators to impart more quality information and know-hows to future journalists to #fightfakenews.

In order to encourage the use of the handbook in Indonesia, UNESCO is collaborating with Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) in the translation and adaptation of the English handbook into Bahasa Indonesia as well as to localize the publication to the Indonesian context. The UNESCO handbook has been designed in line with the principles of UNESCO Media and Information Literacy programme to create critically minded users and to adapt UNESCO’s material to local context.

Disinformation is not a new phenomenon but the ubiquity of social media has greatly increased the speed and reach of this disinformation. A recent study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found that false information spreads six times faster than truth on social media.

Indonesia is a diverse country with a large population with one of the highest usage of social media in the world. Information is spread quickly and often without verification through the many social media applications that Indonesians use on a daily basis.

As such, the role of journalists as truth-seekers and the original “fact-checkers”, becomes increasing important to ensure that any news that is printed, broadcasted, or published online must be as accurate and professional as possible. As Ms. Novi Kurnia, professor of communication science of UGM and editorial team for the Indonesian edition of the handbook had asked “to what extent are journalists themselves part of the growing problem of disinformation?”  

The workshop saw the participation from academics from Universitas Atma Jaya Yogyakarta, Universitas Indonesia, Universitas Pembangunan Nasional Veteran Yogyakarta, Universitas Islam Negeri Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta, Universitas Multimedia Nusantara, as well as civil society organizations including Aliansi Jurnalis Independen Indonesia (AJI), Tempo Institute, Masyarakat Anti Fitnah Indonesia (MAFINDO), Relawan TIK/SiBerkreasi, and Tirto.id.

The English version of the handbook could be downloaded from this link. The Bahasa Indonesia version of the handbook is scheduled to be available by April.

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