The University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) conducted a workshop on Fact-Checking on May 20, 2018, hosted by Department of Media Studies and Journalism, ULAB.

The workshop addressed the origin, developments and ethical principles of fact-checking, fact-checking methodologies, publishing strategies, and learning to identify fake news.

The speakers stressed on what can happen if journalists, news organizations and social media neglect to fact-check before publishing or for the sake of dramatic storytelling omit important facts. The workshop trained participants to strategically and efficiently fact-check their own biases and their own reporting, even if the reporter has no institutional support. It also showed how to independently verify facts, perform background checks on people and how to use new tools that can help journalists verify when and where an image was taken. Reporters should not only develop a road map to fact-check their own work, they will also learn about investigative skills and tools that will benefit any reporting, and even facilitate distribution, speakers said.

Kashfia Arif Ahmed spoke about the rise of fact-checking organisations around the world and the Bangladesh’s position in that context. The speaker introduced nascent fact-checking initiatives and explained how they are functioning separate from regular newsrooms, acting as watch-dogs.

Zyma Islam, an investigative journalist at The Daily Star taught participants how to check out fake images, fake news and fake videos. The participants were introduced to online fact-checking tools, that scrape websites and satellite images to find the sources of news and images.

The last segment of the fact-checking workshop was about Data Journalism. Instead of only putting down numbers, the host described how statistical numerical data can be presented interactively on websites with the help of free online design softwares.

Professor Media Studies and Journalism and Head of Faculty Research, Sumon Rahman inaugurated the workshop. All speakers present are currently developing Fact Watch.

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