NUI Galway spearheads global project to challenge fake news on migration

Tom Felle, Head of the Discipline of Journalism and Communications at NUI Galway, at the flag raising to mark the launch of the Global Migration Media Academy.
Apr 26 2021 Posted: 09:51 IST

Global project to challenge fake news on migration

International partnership of NUI Galway, the International Organisation for Migration and Irish Aid to offer media training on migration and misinformation

A new global partnership has been established involving NUI Galway and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), with the support of Irish Aid, to tackle fake news around migration.

The Global Migration Media Academy is an initiative led by IOM, involving media literacy programmes to train students and journalists to identify, challenge and debunk misinformation.

The project is co-funded by the IOM Development Fund and Irish Aid, with the development of the global foundational course being led by Tom Felle, Head of the Discipline of Journalism and Communications at NUI Galway.

The programmes will initially run in four countries - Mexico, Serbia, Morocco and the Philippines - before expanding to other countries as the project evolves.

Simon Coveney, Minister for Foreign Affairs T.D., said: “The last 12 months have shown us all how important our news and news sources are for keeping us informed and educated. While fake news is a danger that more and more people are aware of, countering it or revealing it isn’t something that many know how to do. Therefore I warmly welcome this important initiative from NUI Galway and Irish Aid to tackle misinformation and fake news being spread about migration.”

Lalini Veerassamy, chief of mission of International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Ireland, said: “As we establish the Global Migration Media Academy, it is key to have a reputable academic institution such as NUI Galway working with us to develop standardised training tools on media and migration. The global foundation course, which will be contextualised to reflect different migration dynamics at a national and regional level will equip journalists from all over the world with the necessary tools to develop more balanced and accurate narratives on migration which in turn will reduce the spread of misinformation.”

Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of NUI Galway, said: “Projects such as this speak directly to two of our core values: respect and openness. By championing respect and openness, we hope to have a transformative effect on society, in Ireland and internationally, setting a positive example of excellence beyond our University. Our journalism academics are international experts in media literacy and it is an honour for them to work with the IOM on this vitally important international project, as supported by Irish Aid, which will have far-reaching positive learning for society.”

The Global Migration Media Academy will develop e-learning and training material to tackle fake news. There will be a focus on misinformation and disinformation around migration, including training students on identifying and tracking harmful content; digital forensics and verification techniques; and data journalism.

Courses will draw on migration research and data, as well as exploring how unfolding global developments like Covid-19 influence migration and public attitudes.

Students will be encouraged to explore the complex topic of migration from different perspectives and publish compelling, nuanced and evidence-based stories.

NUI Galway is also planning to host a Summer School for participants in 2022.


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