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UNESCO to tackle fake news with campaign

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UNESCO country representative to Cambodia Sardar Umar Alam said at an event launching a handbook on journalism education and training entitled Fake News and Disinformation on July 23, 2020. Heng Chivoan

UNESCO to tackle fake news with campaign

UNESCO Cambodia on Monday announced a 10-day-campaign to fight against the spread of disinformation as part of the UN Global Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Week.

The social media campaign begins on October 22 in conjunction with the 9th annual MIL Week scheduled for October 24 through October 31.

Given the global Covid-19 pandemic, MIL will go forward under the theme Resisting Disinfodemic: Media and Information Literacy for everyone and, by everyone.

In a press release, UNESCO Cambodia said it is preparing posters in Khmer calling for Cambodian people to participate.

“The recent pandemic has confronted the world with a new wave of disinformation. This ‘Disinfodemic’ not only fuels risks to public health but also feeds socio-political polarisation, hate and division,” it said.

Ministry of Information spokesman Phos Sovann told The Post on Monday the elimination of untrue or fake news cannot be done by the government alone. This work requires participation from civil society organisations and citizens.

He said UNESCO also has a role in influencing the public to prevent the influence of fake news, which affects society and proper decision making.

“This campaign is necessary to prevent the spread of fake news,” he said.

UNESCO’ posters are intended to inform the public that fake news is dangerous. The posters also promote five laws of media and information literacy. News must be accurate and independent but transparent and easy to understand, it said.

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