Liberia’s first fact-checking media outlet, The Stage Media-Liberia is among 38 international fact-checking platforms to receive the “International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN)” grant, which aims to combat widespread misinformation and disinformation.

The grant was awarded to TSM and other outlets after a competitive application process that was vetted by a selection committee of media experts. 

Those experts rated the proposals of fact-checking organizations and recommended institutions that met the criteria set by IFCN over nine to twelve months to complete their projects.

Those 39 organizations will receive a US$25,000 grant each to address the widespread information disorder in their respective countries or regions.

TSM-Liberia, an IFCN signatory, intends to use its $25,000 grant to upgrade its tools and incorporate AI for fact-checking in the Pidgin language (colloquial).

This development stems from a $975,000, in total, grant funded by YouTube to bolster the media verification initiatives of these fact-checking organizations worldwide.

This funding represents the second BUILD phase of the Global Fact Check Fund programme, which was created to improve the efficiency of fact-checking organizations in their local and regional efforts. 

According to the IFCN, each recipient of the $25,000 grant will be awarded the fund for projects fostering the fight against misinformation and disinformation. 

“In addition to FactsMatterNg and News Verifier Africa, other fact-checking organizations from other countries, including Ukraine, Egypt, Guatemala, Liberia, Nepal, and Canada, will benefit from the funding initiative,” IFCN stated.

Moreover, those grant recipients will use the fund to strengthen their workforce and improve their financial sustainability—a lingering issue amongst 84 percent of fact-checking organizations

The Director of IFCN, Angie Holan, emphasized the significance of these grants in enhancing the global network of fact-checkers.

“In this critical election year, the need for accurate information couldn’t be more urgent. This vital funding will energize fact-checking organizations, sharpening their skills, amplifying their capabilities, and expanding their reach. As we navigate the complexities of global voting, fact-checking fosters a culture of critical thinking that leads to a more informed electorate,” said  Holan.

Since the first award in June 2023, the IFCN has distributed $4,850,000 of the $12 million fund provided by Google and YouTube to several dozen fact-checking groups worldwide. The fund is expected to continue with five more phases.

The grants were awarded to 20 signatories of IFCN’s Code of Principles and 19 non-signatories who received endorsements from active signatories to become eligible for the fund.

Those awarded the grant includes: ABS-CBN Fact Check, Philippines,   AkhbarMeter Media Observation, Egypt,    Asociación Ocote, Guatemala, Balobaki Check, DR Congo, Center for Media Research, Nepal,   Check Your Fact, United States,, Venezuela, Cyberity, Indonesia, deCheckers VZW, Belgium,  Deraya, West-Bank/Palestine, Digital Forensics, Research and Analytics Center, India,, Turkey,   Fact Check Cyprus, Cyprus,   Factico, Spain,   Fakt Yoxla, Azerbaijan,   Fast Check CL, Chile,   FactsMatterNG, Nigeria,  Fundación Andina para la Observación y Estudio de Medios, FUNDAMEDIOS, Ecuador,   Greece Fact Check, Greec,  Gwara Media, Ukraine,  INDEX, France,  JomCheck Malaysia, Malaysia,  KIVU WEZA, DR Congo,   Lupa Media, Ecuador,   Medical Dialogues (C/o Minerva Medical Treatment Pvt Ltd), India,  Namibia Fact Check, Namibia,  News Detective, United States,  News Verifier Africa (Media Inno Tech), Nigeria,  Observador, Portugal,  Panos Institute Southern Africa, Zambia,  Parti Co-op, South Korea,  PressOnePH, Philippines,   Provereno Media, Estonia, Snopes, United States,  Telugupost, India,   The Canadian Press, Canada,, Indonesia,  VšĮ DigitalHub, Lithuania, and  The Stage Media-Liberia, Liberia. 

“As the first fact-checking institution in Liberia, receiving this grant from the IFCN will enhance our current capacity. Like many other countries, Liberia has a media sustainability issue that poses a lot of threat to independent media like TSM-Liberia.

“Our project focus is how we can use the pidgin language to increase the knowledge of fact-checking in a country where less than 50% of its citizens are literate. We hope that citizens understand, through the pidgin language, our fact-checking content to help Liberia be a safe space for verifiable information,” said Bettie K. Johnson-Mbayo, TSM-Liberia Co-partner.


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