Venezuelan journalists are encouraged to learn how to use the latest tools to verify content and demystify misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, UNESCO and Medianálisis are offering a webinar on the topic for journalists from the South American country on May 17, 2022. Registration is open for the eventwhich takes place at 5 p.m. Caracas time.

During the webinar, Venezuelan journalists will learn about a free self-directed online course in Spanish, “Disinformation in the time of COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean”, which is available on the Knight Center JournalismCourses.org online learning platform. Students can take the course at their own pace, on the days and times that best suit their schedule.

“Fact-checking is not an easy task and it is even more difficult to do in countries like Venezuela, where it is difficult to find reliable data,” said the course instructor. Cristina Tardaguila. “In this course, participants will have the chance to not only learn about this growing part of journalism, but also use the latest tools to demystify content.”

Tardáguila is senior program director at the International Center of Journalists and founder of the Brazilian fact-checking site Agência Lupa. She also coordinated the #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance, the largest collaborative fact-checking project in the world.

During the May 17 webinar, Tardáguila will be joined by Professor Rosental C. Alves, director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, for a conversation about misinformation and fact-checking around COVID-19. Their discussion will be moderated by Andrés Cañizález, director of Medianálisis.

“Venezuela is a nation that lives on lies in censorship, since its information ecosystem is mediated by lies in public discourse, government propaganda circulating through censored media, and hoaxes circulating on social media. The times of COVID-19 have posed significant challenges in clarifying the reality of vaccines and demystifying the nature of the virus, as well as in denying the miracle cures and conspiracy theories that have been circulating since before the pandemic arrived in the world. country,” said León Hernández, director of Medianálsis and coordinator of the Venezuelan Fake News Observatory.

“Medianalisis has a great interest in training communicators through training projects for 12 years,” he continues. “We thank the Knight Center, UNESCO and the European Union for this learning opportunity that will benefit Venezuelan journalistic practice.”

The self-directed course is also available in English, Guarani, French and Portuguese at JournalismCourses.org.

It was originally offered as a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) taught by Tardáguila from February 15 to March 14, 2021 and offered in Spanish, Portuguese and Guarani. This was the first time the Knight Center offered a course in an indigenous language from a Latin American country. Together, the course in three languages attracted 3,235 students from 52 countries.

Journalists and others interested in learning how to report on COVID-19 can find more resources through the Knight Center’s COVID-19 Courses and Resources online hub. Here you’ll find courses and webinars, briefings, and other resources for reporting on the coronavirus pandemic. The Knight Center Journalism Curriculum has worked with United Nations agencies, particularly UNESCO, UNDP and WHO, to produce these resources now available in a variety of languages.