FYT Media, Google hold webinar to fight vaccine misinformation

Student and community journalists across the country will gather to discuss misinformation on the COVID-19 vaccine in a free webinar scheduled on Jan. 28 -29, 2022 at 10 a.m., which will be streamed live on FYT’s YouTube channel.

Titled “#FYTCOVID19: Fighting vaccine misinformation,” the online event is a fact-checking initiative of the independent media outfit FYT and supported by Google Philippines.

As the Philippines continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is also the case of “infodemic” or the spread of false or inaccurate information about the virus and vaccine. There is an urgent need to bolster fact-checking efforts around COVID-19 vaccine information at the local level and support journalists from the community, national, and mainstream media.

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Experts from the health sector, the academe, and Google will speak at the event which will be headlined by FYT Media co-founder and broadcast journalist Atom Araullo.

“I urge everyone to take the advice of doctors and experts, and to be mindful of fake information that spreads on social media or in our communities,” Araullo said, inviting community reporters and citizen journalists to join the timely conversation.

“Google is committed to working closely with the media, partners, and communities to help fight misinformation,” said Mervin Wenke, who leads Communications and Public Affairs for Google in the Philippines. “This webinar, together with FYT Media, will pave the way for opportunities to improve the skills of student and community journalists in telling stories that help combat COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation at the community level.”

Student and community journalists must register here to attend the webinar. FYT Media and Google will select 10 student and community journalists that both organizations will support beyond the webinar so they can learn more skills about fact-checking and building content on YouTube.

Quoting recent data from the Department of Health shows, Google said 49.8 million Filipinos (about 45% of the population) have already been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. According to a report, cities and municipalities including Taguig, Pateros, and Manila have already begun the preparations for the vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 which could start soon.