Central University of Punjab and Chandigarh Press Club hosted a Training Workshop on #VaxCheck
· Google News Initiative India, Data Leads and First Draft conducted this programme to support the journalist and media educators across India in their fight against misinformation
Bathinda: To counter the vaccine hesitancy caused due to spread of misinformation on various social media platforms, the Dept. of Mass Communication & Media Studies of Central University of Punjab, Bathinda (CUPB) and Chandigarh Press Club jointly hosted a training programme on #VaxCheck. This training programme is a part of 30 Workshop Series to be conducted across 30 states and Union Territories by Google News Initiative, Data Leads and First Draft.
During this programme, the certified trainers and experts provided training on different topics such as Understanding vaccine misinformation, Vaccine mis-info narratives and data deficits, Monitoring social media conversations and Keywords & Search Queries.
On this occasion Prof. Raghavendra P. Tiwari, the Vice Chancellor of Central University of Punjab, congratulated the team of Google News Initiative India, Data Leads and First Draft for conceptualizing this workshop and providing training to the youngsters of India. He added that CUPB’s Dept. of Mass Communication & Media Studies is already running two inter-disciplinary courses for University students on ‘Fake News & Media Literacy’ and ‘Debunking Fake News’ to limit the spread of falsehood on new media. He expressed his hope that this Workshop would not only be helpful in reducing vaccine hesitancy but also would play a vital role in combating the Infodemic of fake news.
During the first session, Sh. Jatin Gandhi talked about Vaccine Misinformation, Narratives and Data Deficits. He referred to various case studies to highlight that vaccine misinformation not only leads to decline in people’s confidence, but also becomes a hurdle in the success of the vaccination programme of the state. To differentiate between fake and authentic information, he suggested that we should always identify the information source and search for the authenticity of information by using various fact checking tools or by visiting fact checking websites.
In the second session, Prof. Umesh Arya discussed strategies to monitor social media conversations in open and closed platforms. He also shared tips to gather news on social media such as creating a tip line, google keyword search etc. Prof. Arya also threw light on the common queries related to COVID-19 Vaccination. He appealed participants to always take authentic information from the official websites of WHO, CDC, MoHFW, ICMR etc and whatsapp helpline of WHO or GOI.
The programme was moderated by Akanksha Bathla. She complimented the Programme Coordinators Dr. Rubal Kanozia (CUPB) and Shri Saurabh Duggal (Chandigarh Press Club) for making this programme a success. The programme was also attended by CUPB faculty Dr. Chhavi Garg, Dr. Paramvir Singh and Dr. Mahesh Meena. Fact Checking experts, journalists, researchers, faculty and students participated in this programme through an online platform.