The Google News Initiative has launched a COVID-19 Vaccine Counter-Misinformation Open Fund, with up to $3 million available "to news organizations of every size." The Fund is looking for "projects that aim to broaden the audience of fact checks, particularly with those who may be disproportionately affected by misinformation in mind." The fund is global. Applicants should have a proven track record in fact-checking and debunking activities, or partner with an organization that does.
Source: Google News Initiative
In Uganda, journalists and much of the public are aghast over comments on Friday by the Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola. Responding to reports that police are targeting media covering the country's violence-torn elections, Ochola argued that security forces are doing it for the journalists' own good. "When we tell a journalist, don't go there and you insist on going where there is danger, we shall beat you for your own safety," the learned chief explained. "I have no apology. We shall not apologise but we shall continue helping you not to go where there is danger.” Ochola's comments come after security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets at journalists covering Uganda's presidential campaign last month.
Source: Daily Monitor
The deadline for the Sigma Awards 2021, which celebrate the best data journalism from around the world, is coming up on February 1. A $5,000 cash prize will be split among the winners. This year the Sigma Awards has partnered with several regional data journalism competitions to pursue a joint effort in rewarding the best data journalism worldwide: the Claudio Weber Abramo de Jornalismo de Dados (Brazil), Korea Data Journalism Awards (Korea), the Philip Meyer Award by IRE (US), the Arab Data Journalism Awards by ADJN (Egypt), and Pakistan Data Journalism Awards (Pakistan).
Source: Sigma Awards
A new initiative, the Tiny News Collective, aims to jump-start 500 US local newsrooms over the next three years. The program provides fledgling newsrooms with a publishing system, website and newsletter platform, with such future services as libel insurance, accounting, legal assistance, and payroll. The initiative comes from LION Publishers and News Catalyst, with backing from the Google News Initiative and others. The cost to newsrooms: $100 per month.
More than two dozen top officials from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty issued a joint statement Wednesday, sharply protesting actions by Trump appointee Michael Pack to ensconce conservative ideologues on the boards of the governing U.S. Agency for Global Media and its broadcasting agencies. Pack and his minions have added contracts to ensure they can't be removed for two years. The statement by the staff, which includes Editor-in-Chief Daisy Sindelar and heads of many broadcast services, warns that Pack's actions "will compromise the freedom from political influence that for seven decades has characterized Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) as an independent surrogate news organization for countries with no free press of their own."
The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and the Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) announced launch of the ARIJ Aleph Archive. This new tool contains documents and data from across the Middle East and North Africa that ARIJ has collected over the last decade, a unique trove of material that will help investigative reporters follow the money. The ARIJ Aleph Archive is part of OCCRP Aleph, the investigative data platform that allows journalists to search and cross-reference more than one billion records to trace connections and patterns and collaborate across borders.