Check Global

Check Global is a program run by Meedan in partnership with Birmingham City University, with funding from Swedish International Development Agency (Sida).

The project aims to improve digital literacy, community-building and political engagement skills for citizen journalists, activists, journalism students, civil society organisations and human rights defenders, thus strengthening their role as investigators and contributors to the public sphere.

We provide training, develop software, run programming, and conduct research with a global network of independent media and human rights organizations, fact-checking initiatives and journalism schools in Latin America, East Africa, Asia-Pacific (APAC) and the North Africa/West Asia (NAWA) region.

We are committed to strengthening the capacities of our partners to use media and technology to:

  • Counter the rise of misinformation and disinformation
  • Provide credible information and address inequalities in access to information
  • Develop media literacy skills so they, and the communities they work with, are better equipped to hold public figures to account

1. What We Do

introduction

We collaborate with non-profit organizations, collectives and individuals on a range of activities, including:


creating

open source tools and technology to curate, annotate, fact-check, verify and debunk online misinformation


fostering

high-impact collaboration and stronger networks between grassroots organisations and journalists, to work on open source investigations, fact-checking and digital literacy development


training

journalism students, citizen journalists and civil society to verify content, conduct investigations and produce credible online content


producing and collaborating

on research related to news media, and the the veracity and credibility of online information

2. The Five Pillars of Check Global

reviews

Check Global is made up of five interconnected pillars of work and activity.

Technology

The Technology pillar aims to develop software and digital tools that enhance the quality and accessibility of reliable online information. We provide technical support through our flagship product Check, open-source software which assists news verification and fact-checking processes. Our team works closely with partners to gather feedback, understand workflows in different contexts, and enhance the experience of those using Check. Through this activity we support projects which fact-check elections, open source investigations, translate content and design research studies into the nature and patterns of online misinformation.

Network

The Check Global Network is Meedan’s community bringing together non-profit organisations and collectives working in the area of independent media and information and communication technologies (ICTs), based in the emerging economies of Asia-Pacific (APAC), East Africa, Latin America (LATAM), and the North Africa Western Asia region (NAWA). We aim to provide a platform for organizations committed to developing opportunities for those communities facing historic and systemic barriers to entering the fields of media and technology.

Some of our most impactful partnerships are with women-led organizations using media to promote feminist leadership and rights in emerging economies, but we are also expanding to new areas and new partners - see our call for more details, or email us at checkglobalnetwork@meedan.com

Training

The Training pillar’s aim is to provide online resources such as the NAWA Media website and develop in-person training opportunities delivered by our partners, which strengthen skills in journalists and activist groups. The main activities of the Check Global training pillar have focused on delivering training programs to students, citizen journalists, reporters and human rights defenders on open source investigation, verification, misinformation monitoring, leadership and organisational development skills, and themes of gender, feminism and sexuality. The overall aim of such activity is to develop improved journalism and trusted information sources in the emerging economies we focus on.

In addition to our training partners mentioned below, we have been working with students from the Lebanese University since 2018. Our Check Newsroom will be expanding to 6 countries in 2020 including Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Palestine and Syria.

Research

The Research pillar focuses on supporting the development of research on the interplay between technology, journalism, and activism. We aim to improve understanding of the global news media and information ecosystem in order to improve the credibility of online information, beneficial to both journalists and their audiences. This is approached in a number of ways such as reflective blogging of project experiences, but also more formal academic outputs such as collaborative research papers e.g. one article covering the topic of “Text Similarity Using Word Embeddings to Classify Fake News” and a second investigating the barriers facing the delivery of journalism projects in the NAWA region in the aftermath of the 2011 uprisings. We also support a number of academic projects, postgraduate teaching, and new research collaborations.

Data

Critical to Check Global is developing an infrastructure for quality data to support innovative and compelling research about the global information ecosystem. We aim to improve data infrastructure and provision to support efficient workflow and effective dissemination via platforms. We are focused on improving datasets around online source and content credibility, and digital literacy skillsets in all countries of focus for research and product development.

3. Who we are

financials

Meedan has been working with a team of researchers from Birmingham City University on the Check project since 2013. BCU manages and co-delivers a variety of activities, with particular focus on the Network, Training, and Research pillars.

This includes developing open-access journalism training resources, used during our numerous events and workshops, and producing academic outputs. Additionally, BCU’s Monitoring & Evaluation Lab is based at Birmingham City University, tasked with the significant Check Global role of impact evaluation and reporting.