DILI, 23 October 2021(TATOLI) – The U.S. Embassy in Dili hosted a first TechCamp training program for over 50 Timorese journalists to develop their skills and technological tools to better counter misinformation and disinformation through strengthened fact-checking.
The Tech Camp was held in collaboration with the Timor Lorosa’e Journalists Association (TLJA) and the Timor-Leste Press Union (TLPU) and with funding support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
The TechCamp brought together over 50 emerging Timorese journalists in Dili for the program, which was held on October 16, 17, and 23.
The training is virtually given by the International trainers from The United States, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
During the training, the four senior journalists shared knowledge and discussed with the participants about investigative journalism and fact-checking in Timor-Leste to counter misinformation and disinformation.
The Timorese journalists who participated in the program will receive seed funding after the TechCamp in support of local efforts to strengthen fact-checking.
“We are thrilled to convene this Tech Camp at such a critical time. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp relief the critical challenge that misinformation and disinformation present to citizens in both our countries every day,” said U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Tom Daley.
“Democratic societies are rightly founded on openness and freedom of expression. However, that openness can often be exploited to create false stories, hoaxes, and rumors – often with serious consequences. That’s why journalists must be able to recognize misinformation and disinformation in news and on social media.” he added.
The senior journalist trainers involved in this TechCamp include Deborah Nelson, Professor of Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland; Aribowo Sasmito, Co-Founder and Fact-Check Specialist of MAFINDO, a non-profit combating false information; Karol Ilagan, Editorial Director of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism; and, Wahyu Dhyatmika, Editor-in-Chief of Tempo. co.
TechCamp is a program run by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. TechCamp workshops in countries around the world connect participants with technology experts to co-create innovative tech solutions and build digital skills to create tangible solutions to real-world challenges.