The information overload, clutter & lack of trustworthy news sources has been a challenge recently for a world struggling with COVID-19. WHO termed this phenomenon ‘disinfodemic’ & called for all media professionals to ensure free and fair flow of information. The crisis continued as the vaccine roll-out was underway & “fake news” around the subject created an environment of fear. India, Maldives and Sri Lanka, the focus countries, also saw attacks on press freedom that compounded the problem of “misinformation” that undermines the role of the media.
The IPDC UNESCO supported project helped support 50 community media organizations on countering misinformation, by building their skills to develop and disseminate reliable and credible content. It was felt that media and information Literacy is essential to navigate the fog of misinformation. Through a series of workshops in India and the South Asian region of Sri Lanka and Maldives, SMART trained and built capacities of over 200 media professionals through the project ‘Strengthening Media and Information Literacy Among Community Media Practitioners’. This manual is an outcome of the learnings of the project.