FactShala is a news and information literacy programme run by DataLEADS with support from the Google News Initiative. The programme helps people from small cities and villages across India to critically assess online information and sift facts from misinformation. Launched in 2020 by Internews with support from Google.org, FactShala India Media Literacy Network’s trainers – a passionate team of journalists, media educators, fact-checkers, non-profit workers and community radio stations are on a mission to empower communities around them with ethical approaches to information literacy and critical thinking skills.
Our focus is not only on misinformation generated by conventional sources and social media but also on educating people about understanding media, analyzing content and equipping them with the skills needed to consume information critically. We also help adults in non-metro cities and villages of India learn how to sift facts from the sea of online misinformation and make them understand better the nature and characteristics of content published online.
FactShala joined hands with some of the best experts in media and information literacy like the Stanford History Education Group, the BBC World Service, Hong Kong University, the Asian Network of News & Information Educators, Amity University, Noida, BoomLive, Don Bosco University, Assam and Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, Bangalore to design a curriculum that is being used by FactShala trainers to deliver end training. The training material has been translated in seven Indian languages for ease of training. The curriculum is based on the insights drawn from a baseline exploratory study done under the consultation of the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) to understand how end users assess various types of messages they access online and what makes them believe or reject certain messages.
For the Community radio work, we also joined hands with the Federation of Community Radio Stations (FCRS) and Radio Mewat (run by SMART Seeking Modern Applications for Real Transformation).