The platform provides 10 training modules of around 45 minutes to one hour, in English and French for now. They include key skills for searching, investigating and verifying information – including photos and videos – as well as for finding archived material.
We saw an urgent need to provide a module on protecting journalists working online and anticipating harassment, as well as skills for tackling health misinformation, which became more pressing during the Covid pandemic.
We also included a module on searching for reliable information and dealing with online sources in breaking news situations.
The courses are interactive and dynamic with videos, examples, quizzes and tips from two of our experienced editors and trainers, Gaelle Faure and Sami Acef, as well as from the global team.
We want to equip journalists to be equally at ease working online as they are on the ground, and we plan to keep updating the platform as the news environment evolves.
Sharing learnings among journalists
We first created an online platform to help train our global digital investigations team as it has rapidly grown in the past four years. Our team now has more than 130 people, working in 24 languages and covering more than 80 countries.
As we received training requests from other services, including photo and video, we wanted to share techniques once only used by verification specialists with all journalists to help avoid some of the basic traps of online misinformation.
Hundreds of journalists and journalism students have already registered on the platform and feedback has been very positive, from younger as well as older journalists, and from beginners to those who are already experienced in digital investigations.
Journalists and journalism students can register on the site – digitalcourses.afp.com – and earn an AFP certificate for each completed module. The training is provided at no cost with the support of the Google News Initiative.
The author, Sophie Nicholson, is deputy editor-in-chief for digital verification at AFP, and will be speaking at WAN-IFRA’s World News Media Congress, taking place 28 to 30 September, in Zaragoza, Spain.
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