Educational Platform #FactCheckingMatters (#NeVjerujNaPrvu) presented in Banja Luka and Mostar

The educational platform about disinformation phenomenon and verification of online content designed for media and the general public was presented to the journalists and the civil society representatives in Banja Luka and Mostar.

The panellists – Vuk Vucetic, Sinisa Vukelic and Adis Nadarevic – spoke about the causes and consequences of generating false information in a society, from the point of view of the professionals working in communication and media. They especially focused on available digital tools and approaches to counteract spreading of disinformation as part of the educational platform #NeVjerujNaPrvu.

“Fake news is not a new phenomenon, but with the evolution of the media and new technologies, the situation got much more complicated as anyone can now create and share, at any time, video, photo and written content through social network. There is no alternative but to work with people to strengthen their media literacy so that they stop consuming fake news; this critical approach will certainly be the most powerful weapon against disinformation“  said Vuk Vucetic, a PhD in communication sciences.

Journalist Sinisa Vukelic believes that fake news is the most commonly present in online media and that the situation is further complicated when information from such outlets are further published by news agencies and public media. “Today we are flooded with portals publishing content of certain political options aiming to spread hatred against their political opponents, as well as some persons from civil society“, Vukelic said. He added that this year alone, the Press Council has received 379 complaints against the work of online media.

The public in Banja Luka and Mostar was also presented with the brochure „Verification of Information for Beginners: How To Fact Check Information Online “which contains the information on existence of and ways to use tools for checking photos, videos and other online content”.

A Twitter influencers Adis Nadarevic noted that information spread through social media is often used as media content, thus everyone could become a tool of spreading disinformation unless they apply certain principles. This is why, underlined Nadarevic, principles of journalism ethics – independence objectivity, accuracy, and humane approach – are all relevant in this case as they ensure avoiding that trap.

The android application #NeVjerujNaPrvu also presented at the events offers information about disinformation phenomenon through educational video modules, leaflets and texts by leading regional and BiH experts, including Emira Zulejhic, Maja Calovic, Stefan Janjic, Tijana Cvjeticanin and others.

The application is available for free download on Google Play Store. For more information please visit the FB page #NeVjerujNaPrvu.

#NeVjerujNaPrvu is the European Union project in Bosnia and Herzegovina.