Facebook announces scholarship program for journalism students in India; reinforces news integrity initiatives

Partners with Asian College of Journalism to train future journalists

Extends Third Party Fact Checking Program with BOOM Live

August 2, 2018 – Facebook today announced a partnership with the Asian College of Journalism (ACJ) to establish the Facebook Journalism Project Scholarship program in India. The program aims at supporting quality journalism and creating a healthy news ecosystem.

Facebook has also announced the extension of its third-party fact-checking program in India with BOOM Live. Facebook had earlier partnered with BOOM Live for a fact-checking project during the Karnataka Assembly elections in May 2018. Following fact checking in English and Kannada during the pilot stage, BOOM Live will now also provide fact checking capabilities in Hindi and Bengali.

Campbell Brown, Head of Global News Partnerships, said, “India is one if the fastest growing mobile and internet population, and consuming news on the mobile is beginning to grow. We care a great deal about creating healthy news, ecosystem and supporting quality journalism. Our tie up with ACJ and BOOM will help in strengthening our news integrity initiatives”.

Facebook Journalism Project (July 2018)

This project is committed to supporting the next generation of journalists. By partnering with Asian College of Journalism we will be able to train journalist students on fact-based and high integrity journalism in the digital age. The Facebook Journalism Project Scholarship Program in India will support five students from ACJ across four chosen career specializations: Print, New Media, Radio and Television. To be eligible for the programme, applicants must be enrolled as graduate students and must be pursuing a degree in journalism.

Sashi Kumar, Chairperson, Asian College of Journalism said, “We are happy to partner the Facebook Journalism Project. We believe our students will benefit from this powerful initiative. It will provide valuable hands-on experience and the expertise to distinguish informative and trust-worthy news”.

Third-party fact-checking extended 

Following a pilot program for fact checking during the Karnataka Assembly Elections in May 2018, Facebook has now extended the partnership with BOOM Live. Certified through the Poynter Institute, a non-partisan international fact checking network, BOOM Live is one of India’s leading digital fact checking media organisations.

“We are excited about expanding our partnership with FB and using the lessons from the Karnataka pilot. We hope this will contribute to ongoing efforts to combat misinformation online”. said Govindraj Ethiraj, Founder, BOOM Live

How does fact checking work on Facebook?

  • When a fact-checker rates a story as false, we will show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution. This in turn stops the hoax from spreading and reduces the number of people who see it.
  • Pages and domains that repeatedly share false news will also see their distribution reduced and their ability to monetize and advertise removed. This helps curb the spread of financially motivated false news.

Facebook will continue to strengthen its work and partnerships around news literacy in India and extend it across local languages, partner newsrooms, journalists and fact checkers to build a more informed community.