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Announcing PollCheck Election Academy 2023, a digital training series for journalists covering upcoming elections in India

Elections are a crucial time for journalists as well as newsrooms as authoritative and timely election coverage plays a key role in empowering citizens to participate in the democratic process in an informed manner. Misinformation runs counter to this mission, just like it runs counter to Google’s mission to surface high quality and trustworthy information for our users.

Last month, continuing our collaboration with the news ecosystem to tackle this challenge, we announced the launch of a new fact checking tool that can help journalists and fact checkers speed up the process of verifying online media they need to report on developing stories.

Today, the Google News Initiative India Training Network, in collaboration with DataLEADS and In Old News, is opening sign ups for PollCheck Election Academy 2023, a training series to support journalists and newsrooms covering the upcoming elections in India with the tools and skills they need to gather, verify and tell authoritative and engaging stories.

PollCheck 2023 is the fourth and largest yet edition of this training program that will support training in 15 languages including Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati,

Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Marathi,Odia, Punjabi,Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English.

The three-part initiative will focus on topics like online verification, video storytelling, digital safety, Youtube for news, media literacy and data journalism among others.

PollCheck Days: In poll-bound states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, and Mizoram, we will organize full-day, in-person sessions with expert trainers. We will have limited seats at each location. Interested journalists may register here. Successful applicants will be notified of the venue details closer to the event day.

Program details:

  • PollCheck Telangana, Hyderabad | 8th September (Friday) | Telugu / English | 10 am to 5 pm
  • PollCheck Rajasthan, Jaipur | 13th September (Wednesday) | Hindi / English 10 am to 5 pm
  • Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal | 13th September (Wednesday) | Hindi / English 10 am to 5 pm
  • Chhattisgarh, Raipur | 20th September (Wednesday) | Hindi / English 10 am to 5 pm
  • Mizoram, Aizawl | 22nd September (Friday) | English | 10 am to 5 pm

PollCheck 2023

PollCheck Accelerators: There will be 3 in-person PollCheck Digital Accelerator events in Delhi / NCR for advanced learning on digital investigations and fact checking, data verification, video story-telling for elections, countering misinformation and online safety of journalists to prepare them for the upcoming poll season.

There are limited seats for each accelerator and interested participants can apply here. Preference will be given to practicing fact checkers,media literacy experts and journalists focussed on learning in-depth reporting on misinformation trends and also those keen to experiment with news formats to counter misinformation.

  • Digital investigation accelerator (September 28-29): This session will focus on advanced research and investigation skills that can help participants do in-depth investigation on evolving misinformation trends.
  • Video and media literacy accelerator (October 18-19): This session will help participants learn how they can experiment with innovative video formats to help their audiences counter online misinformation and think creatively about presenting accurate information in engaging ways.

In addition, we are also supporting a 6-week online live learning course for journalists interested in video storytelling. After completion of the course, 10 participants will get a chance to get mentoring support from In Old News to work on video stories.

  • Digital Safety Accelerator (October 27): This online session will help participating journalists learn about Google’s Advanced Protection Program and help them secure their online interactions.

PollCheck Hub: Journalists and editors looking to get their teams election ready can sign up to be a part of the Pollcheck Hub and get a chance to host GNI India Training Network’s in-person trainings at their own newsrooms. The sessions can be conducted in any of the 15 languages. Newsrooms can choose from topics like tackling the evolving challenge of misinformation, essentials of digital verification, verification accelerator, data journalism, online safety and video story-telling among others.

To boost efforts to counter misinformation in local languages, preference will be given to small and mid-size newsrooms and language publishers that do not have in-house fact checking desks.

We look forward to seeing you at one of the events soon!