Young reporters fact checking covid-19 information

Those who are in a dilemma and want to check the accuracy of certain information can send it to the young reporters via UNICEF Montenegro's social networks – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Jelena Perovic
Visual about using credible source of information
UNICEF Montenegro
14 April 2020

PODGORICA, 10 APRIL 2020 – Considering the large number of fake news stories related to coronavirus, UNICEF's young reporters have decided to check the accuracy of information published on social networks and in the media and to publish the conclusions of their analyses on UNICEF Montenegro's website. In verifying the accuracy of information, they have followed the example of analyses from the public disclosure platform Raskrinkavanje.me and used its publicly available methodology.

"By doing this, we wish to contribute to preventing the dissemination of coronavirus-related misinformation and to promoting reliable sources of information, above all the information coming from the Institute of Public Health, which we consulted on a number of occasions to determine if some of the information was correct," says Sara Markovic.

Critical analysis of all information remains one of the key media-literacy skills that young reporters want to promote in their work. "Our goal is not only to help people uncover fake news but also to promote critical analysis of all information by showing people how this is done through these examples," Djordje Ivanovic says.

Lana Jovanovic explains that the whole process of verifying the accuracy of information consists of several key steps that every person can take every time he or she hears, watches or reads something, thus ensuring that he or she does not make decisions based on inaccurate information.

"Everyone can compare what different sources of information are saying about a particular topic and then check the accuracy of such information with an expert or a competent institution that is considered to be a reliable source of information," Darja Miljanic explains.

So far, five analyses by young reporters have been published on UNICEF Montenegro's website as a result of verifying the accuracy of information, such as whether one's eyes and loss of the sense of smell can be considered symptoms of coronavirus; that people with blood type A are the most susceptible, while and those with blood type O are most resistant to coronavirus infection; that the Mediterranean diet is a "miracle cure" for coronavirus and that the Olympic Games have been postponed for the first time in history.

"Those who are in a dilemma and want to check the accuracy of certain information can send it to the young reporters via UNICEF Montenegro's social networks – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter," says Jovana Vujovic.

Inspired by work on verifying the accuracy of information, young reporter Silva Dervanovic made a short video-message inviting all the citizens of Montenegro to use only reliable sources of information and to check all news on the official sites and social networks of the Ministry of Health, Institute of Public Health, UNICEF and the World Health Organization.

The message of UNICEF's young reporters to all the citizens of Montenegro is: Let's choose what we watch, read and listen to. Let's choose who we trust. Let's be media-literate, check and critically analyse all media content before sharing it with others. Let's choose what we publish.