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Conference On Fighting Fake News by WAN-IFRA

Conference On Fighting Fake News by WAN-IFRA

Singapore (Singapore) – May 24, 2017 ( – WAN-IFRA and The Straits Times are jointly organizing a two-day event aimed at checking misinformation in Asia. The forum and workshops will be held on June 19 and 20 at the Singapore Management University. Mr K. Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law, will deliver the opening address.

The rise of fake news has become a pressing danger ​to modern societies. From deliberate hoaxes created to cause mischief, manipulate opinions and votes or make money, to media re-circulating unverified or erroneous content, the misinformation ecosystem can take ​on ​many different faces. The growing use of social media platforms as a main source of information has also facilitated the emergence of a myriad “alt-facts” or “alt-truths” filter bubbles, which tend to isolate and confuse people.

The two-day event is one of the initiatives being taken by WAN-IFRA to address the crucial issues surrounding the relationship between publishers and social platforms. The event in Singapore will bring together media publishers, journalists, policymakers, industry players and other stakeholders with the objective to come up with concrete initiatives for fighting the spread of misinformation and improve media literacy in Asia.

“The spread of fake news around the world is focusing minds on the need for good, credible and reliable journalism. Media organisations have an interest in retaining the trust of their readers” Says Mr Warren Fernandez, Editor-in-Chief of the English, Malay and Tamil Media group (EMTM) of Singapore Press Holdings. “Democracies have an interest in ensuring that they have media organisations that meet voters’ needs for reliable information, to help them make good choices. This forum will delve into how these interests are best served today.”

“Universities like SMU, too, have an important role to play through education and research. We can impart to students the skills in critical thinking and analysis, to be circumspect and be able to discern credible sources of information from non-credible ones, and to be open to diverse views for a more balanced perspective” comments SMU President, Professor Arnoud De Meyer. “Our students are also required to take a course in ethics so that they will be better at identifying and tackling various issues. Through research, our faculty can work on understanding social norms and how people can be motivated to value truth and the veracity of information.”

Ms Lynn McDonald, High Commissioner of Canada and Mr Ian Wilson, President of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce say: “The fake news phenomenon affects us all. Addressing this issue require strong, ongoing collaboration between governments and the private sector. It is critical that we work together to preserve the integrity of news and information.”

”Keep it Real: Truth and Trust in the Media” is organised in partnership with The Canadian High Commission, Facebook, Google, Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS), the National Library Board and the Singapore Management University (SMU). The event is open to the general public.

On Day 1 (June 19), the conference will look at practical fact-checking projects from Asia and around the world. Speakers will also offer a series of presentations and take part in panel discussions on what internet companies, journalism schools, government agencies and independent organisations are doing to improve media literacy and provide societies with reliable facts that enable well informed, constructive public debates.

On Day 2, selected participants will split into three workshops to discuss and identify concrete fact-checking measures and projects, including media literacy programmes and the legal and regulatory framework to tackle misinformation.

For details of the speakers and programme, check the event’s website at

WAN-IFRA International Expert Group
WAN-IFRA recently established a specialist group to tap its members experience with platforms and get a measure of their relations with the tech giants. We want to understand what’s working and what’s not – and what media executives, an industry expert think could be done. 150 media executives from 50 countries have already joined WAN-IFRA’s international expert group.

One part of WAN-IFRA task force’s effort is a new report for publishers on Facebook monetisation – i.e. both direct and indirect revenue associated with the social platform. Debates on fake news and the role of social platforms will take center stage at the upcoming WAN-IFRA’s World News Media Congress to be held in Durban, South Africa, from 7 to 9 June. To learn more about WAN-IFRA’s initiative or join the WAN-IFRA expert group follow the link join or email

About The Straits Times
The Straits Times, the English-language flagship daily of Singapore Press Holdings, is the most-read newspaper in Singapore and is followed widely in the region for its comprehensive coverage of local, regional and world news, provided by its correspondents in 20 bureaus in major cities worldwide. The Straits Times is a member of two media networks – the Asia News Network and the Impact Journalism Day alliance of newspapers – and it has won multiple international media awards, including from the Society of Publishers in Asia, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers’ Association (Panpa), Society of News Design and WAN-IFRA. Its revamped paper won a gold medal for overall newspaper design by the World Association of Newspaper at the Asian Media Awards in Manila in 2016.

About SPH – Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Incorporated in 1984, main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Asia’s leading media organization, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms, ranging from print, digital, radio and out-of-home media. SPH owns award-winning newspapers, magazines and best-selling books in both print and digital editions, as well as online classified businesses in the region. In addition, SPH has two English radio stations and one Chinese radio station, an out-of-home digital advertising unit, a regional events and conferences arm, and runs a chain of modern retail convenience stores. SPH also has a 20 per cent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8 and U, and a 40 per cent stake in MediaCorp Press Limited, which publishes the free newspaper, Today. SPH REIT comprises Paragon, a premier upscale retail mall and medical suite/office property in Orchard Road and The Clementi Mall, a mid-market suburban mall. SPH’s latest retail development is The Seletar Mall located in Sengkang. For more information, please visit

WAN-IFRA is the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers. Its mission is to protect the rights of journalists across the world to operate free media, and provide its members with professional services to help their business prosper in a digital world and perform their crucial role in open societies. It derives its authority from its global network of leading news publishing companies and technology entrepreneurs, and its legitimacy from its 80 member publisher associations representing 18,000 publications in 120 countries.

Contact – Inquiries
To register and for more information about the event in Singapore, contact:
– Wilson Leong at Tel: + 65 65 62 84 40
For media enquiries, please contact:
– Gilles Demptos, Director Asia, WAN-IFRA Email: Tel: +65-65628443
– Irene Ngoo, Vice President, Editorial Projects Unit English, Malay and Tamil Media Group (EMTMG) Singapore Press Holdings Email: Tel: +65-63191066