Contest calls on journalists to make fact-checking go viral

by Sam Berkhead
Oct 30, 2018 in Combating Mis- and Disinformation

Society is in the midst of a truth crisis.

We now live in a world in which citizens are more likely to trust a haphazard meme that pops up in a search engine than the news media itself. Readers often measure an article’s trustworthiness based not on who wrote it, but on who shared it with them.

TruthBuzz, a new contest from the International Center for Journalists and the Craig Newmark Foundation, wants to encourage the opposite — the viral spread of verified facts across cyberspace. And you could win up to US$10,000 for sharing your ideas.

Rather than presenting fact-checking to the public through lengthy explanations and bullet points, TruthBuzz is looking for ways to present facts and refute falsehoods through engaging, visual and interactive stories that demand to be shared. Whether the facts are contained in a GIF, a video, an interactive graphic or some other medium is up to you.

A successful TruthBuzz entry should:

  • Explain how your project corrects a falsehood

  • State which sources are used to determine the facts

  • Describe how your project uses innovative techniques to spread the truth quickly

  • Include a sample social media post that uses your fact-checking invention

Once the June 30 application deadline passes, a panel of judges will select three winners based on their proposals’ originality and potential to help audiences differentiate fact from fiction and spread the word widely. The top three winners will receive cash prizes of US$10,000, US$5,000 and US$2,500, respectively.

To apply, click here. Anyone can apply, but applications are only accepted in English. The deadline has been extended to July 9.

TruthBuzz FAQ:

  • Can I create an entry in another language?
    • Yes. Entries are accepted in all languages, but the application form is in English
  • Can I present multiple entries?
    • Yes you may. Use a separate entry form for each one.
  • I have a project that is already published that is perfect for this, can I still apply?
    • Of course. Please include a link to your existing work on the entry form
  • Can I use a pre-existing tool to create my entry, or do I have to build one from scratch?
    • Existing tools are OK. How can you use existing tools in a new way?
  • If I know my project will be shared and resonate in my country, does it have to be global?
    • No, we’re also open to messages that are relevant in one country or region, especially if they demonstrate models that can be applied elsewhere.
  • How much can you do if you have limited resources?

Want more tips for applying? Revisit this webinar with contest judges Oren Levine, Shaheryar Popalzai and Aimee Rinehart's advice for crafting a winning submission.

Main image CC-licensed by Flickr via Doinja Groet.