Student and community journalists across the country will gather to tackle misinformation on the COVID-19 vaccine in a free webinar from January 28 to 29, 2022 at 10:00 AM – 12:00NN. This will be streamed live on FYT’s YouTube channel.

Dubbed “#FYTCOVID19: Fighting vaccine misinformation,” the online event is a fact-checking initiative of the independent media outfit FYT supported by Google Philippines.

As the Philippines continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, it deals with infodemic or the spread of false or inaccurate information about the virus and vaccine.

Experts from the health sector, the academe, and Google will speak at the event which will be headlined by FYT Media co-founder and broadcast journalist Atom Araullo.

“Hinihikayat ko kayong makinig sa payo ng mga doktor at mga eksperto, at huwag magpadala sa fake information na kumakalat sa social media o sa ating mga komunidad,” Araullo said, inviting community reporters and citizen journalists to join the timely conversation.

(I urge everyone to take the advice of doctors and experts, and to be mindful of fake information that spreads on social media or in our communities.)

There is an urgent need to bolster fact-checking efforts around COVID-19 vaccine information at the local level and support journalists from the community, national, and mainstream media.

“Google is committed to working closely with the media, partners, and communities to help fight misinformation. This webinar, together with FYT Media, will pave the way for opportunities to improve the skills of student and community journalists in telling stories that help combat COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation at the community level,” said Mervin Wenke, who leads Communications and Public Affairs for Google in the Philippines.

Student and community journalists must register here to attend the webinar. FYT Media and Google will select 10 student and community journalists that both organizations will support beyond the webinar so they can learn more skills about fact-checking and building content on YouTube.

Recent data from the Department of Health shows that 49.8 million Filipinos – about 45% of the population – have already been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. According to a report, cities and municipalities including Taguig, Pateros, and Manila have already begun the preparations for the vaccination of children aged five to 11 which could start soon.

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