Inside AFP

AFP in full force at Trust in News conference (22nd-24th March)

Three members of AFP's fact-checking team will be attending the Trust in News conference organised by the BBC from the 22 - 24 March.

The Trusted News Initiative and BBC Academy's 'Trust in News' is a three day conference (Online webinars) to share knowledge on how to tackle disinformation.



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Day One: 22 March  


Morning Conference session 1100 - 1200 - The view from the frontline 

  • Jon Sopel, BBC North America Editor, opens the event. He'll be joined by Tim Davie, BBC Director General, to talk about the BBC’s role in tackling disinformation and how the Trusted News Initiative is fighting back and tackling harmful disinformation in real time.
  • Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, Director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and Professor of Political Communication at the University of Oxford, reveals the latest global research - funded by the BBC World Service - looking at the effectiveness of disinformation fighting techniques, such as labelling or correcting false information.


Workshop: 1215 - 1300 - A fact checking masterclass 

Learn from those on the frontline about how to debunk stories and the critical questions to ask.


  • Maria Clara Pestre, Brazil-based fact checker for AFP, will reveal the challenges she faces when trying to fact check politicians, including President Jair Bolsonaro.
  • Hazel Baker, Head of UGC Newsgathering, Reuters, explains how debunking takes time, and also shares the critical questions to ask if you’re asked to fact check under pressure.
  • Peter Mwai, Kenya-based journalist for BBC Reality Check.


Afternoon Conference Session One: 1400 - 1500 - Labelling Lies - how to do it effectively

How should debunked or fact checked information be presented? Expert researchers discuss the findings of RISJ’s research and what they mean for fact checkers and social media platforms around the world. We’ll cover the role that culture plays in debunking false claims and how journalists can best present their work to reduce the spread of harmful disinformation.


  • Claire Wardle, Co-founder and US Director, First Draft.
  • Santanu Chakrabarti, Head of Audience Research, BBC World Service.


Afternoon Conference Session Two: 1515 - 1600 - The Threat to Democracy

Jon Sopel, BBC North America Editor, shares his experience of tackling lies, propaganda and ‘fake news’. An international panel of journalists joins him to discuss how journalists can hold politicians to account when they don't play by the rules. From the US to Myanmar, what can journalists do to defend democracy against disinformation and manipulation? What are the elephant traps, and what are the solutions?


  • Janine Gibson, Assistant Editor, Financial Times.
  • Larry Madowo, BBC North America correspondent.
  • Cameron Barr, Managing Editor, The Washington Post.


Day Two: 23rd March 


Morning Conference Session 1100 - 1200 - Engaging hard to reach audiences


  • Philippa Thomas, BBC Chief Presenter, hosts today’s sessions to understand the behaviours and perceptions of audiences, explaining how to win trust and engage hard to reach communities.
  • Rebecca Skippage, BBC News Editor and Disinformation Lead, BBC Monitoring and 2020/1 Reuters Journalist Fellow, reveals how to use the tactics of the disinformation actors to engage unreached audiences.
  • Sriram Srinivasan, Strategy & Digital Editor, The Hindu, will share his own examples of reaching out to and understanding the needs of remote communities.
  • Clara Jiménez Cruz, co-founder and CEO of explains how she created a community of “superpower warriors” to fight misinformation in closed messaging groups.
  • Barbara Whitaker, News Editor AP Verification, will talk about the need to connect with small neighbourhoods, forgotten by local news networks.


Workshop: 1215 - 1300 - Young people – the first line of defence

When misinformation enters the home, it’s often down to the young people to separate fact from fiction, to keep their relatives safe. Children from across the globe explain how disinformation affects their families and what journalists can do to help them.

Ankur Garg, Country Director Indonesia, BBC Media Action talks about the success of using fast fiction, radio drama to inform audiences across Indonesia.


Afternoon Conference Session 1400 - 1500 - The human cost of disinformation


  • Katarina Subasic, is a senior fact checker for AFP covering Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia and Montenegro. She’ll share her tips for protecting herself against harassment.
  • Marianna Spring, the BBC’s specialist disinformation reporter, reveals the impact her job has on her and the people she reports on. From daily death threats to abuse, we’ll discuss how to reduce the threat and psychological trauma.
  • Diana Swain, Senior Investigative Editor for CBC News, will describe the protective measures they’ve introduced to keep her teams safe.
  • Imran Ahmed, CEO Center for Countering Digital Hate, explains why journalists are trolled on social media, and gives practical tips on how to deal with it.


Day Three: 24th March


Morning Conference Session 1100 - 1200 - The tech giants’ role

Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC Technology Correspondent, hosts today’s sessions. He’ll speak to representatives of the social media platforms about their part in turning the tide on disinformation.


Workshop: 1215 - 1300 - Project Origin – tackling disinformation in the digital ecosystem.

We’ll hear about the latest technology to track and secure the provenance of content. Understand how it will work and help you to prove that media hasn’t been tampered with.


Afternoon Session: 1400 - 1500 - What’s Next?

After more than a year of reporting the pandemic, how do news organisations rebuild trust and tackle the next disinformation challenges? Four leading journalists and experts explain what needs to be done to keep one step ahead of the bad actors.


  • Sophie Nicholson, Deputy Chief Editor digital verification, AFP, gives advice on how to immunise the public against misinformation by revealing how you reach your conclusions.
  • Claire Wardle, Co-founder and US Director, First Draft, will discuss the implications for news when half of the country relies entirely on a completely separate information diet based on an alternative reality.
  • Liz Corbin, Head of News, EBU: will explain the importance of public service media and local journalism to tackle misinformation.
  • Hazel Baker, Head of UGC Newsgathering, Reuters, reveals how to predict when conspiracy theories will arise and fill timelines with trusted content before misinformation spreads.


Register now