FactCheck.org and Univision Noticias have been awarded funding from the Google News Initiative to produce fact checks about COVID-19 immunization misinformation and short bilingual video explainers.
The joint project is designed to combat viral misinformation and provide accurate information about vaccination to U.S. Hispanic households via videos in Spanish and English.
FactCheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, and Univision are the only U.S.-based organizations among the 11 projects chosen for Google News Initiative funding, which was announced March 16, 2021.
“We worked with Univision’s talented staff during the last two months of the 2020 election and we are excited to continue working with them on COVID-19 misinformation,” said Eugene Kiely, director of FactCheck.org. “Univision is the primary news source for Hispanics in the U.S. This gives us an opportunity to reach a larger and more diverse audience.”
“The pandemic and misinformation have disproportionately affected the Hispanic community,” said Jose Zamora, senior vice president of communications at Univision News. “This exceptional partnership between Univision Noticias and FactCheck.org, with the support of the Google News Initiative, allows us to work with one of the most respected fact-checking platforms in the U.S. to continue and amplify our fight against misinformation and ensure that Latinos have access to accurate information. Univision Noticias is committed to serving its community through journalism and fact-checking; this partnership allows us to fulfill both purposes and our mission.”
The Google News Initiative launched a $3 million Open Fund in January for projects on COVID-19 vaccines that are directed at communities underserved by fact-checking organizations or targeted by misinformation. Google received more than 309 applications from 74 countries.
Other recipients alongside the FactCheck.org-Univision Noticias partnership include:
- Africa Check, in partnership with Theatre for a Change, to produce interactive radio drama shows in Wolof in Senegal and Pidgin in Nigeria;
- Chequeado, to continue leading the collaborative project Latam Chequea, which includes more than 20 fact-checking organizations across Latin America;
- Stuff, in partnership with Māori Television and the Pacific Media Network, to fact-check misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine in New Zealand;
- The Quint, in India, leading a broad collaborative project seeking to source hyper-local misinformation and distribute fact checks through a grassroots network of rural women.
For the full list see Google’s announcement.
Early in 2021, FactCheck.org’s SciCheck program launched an expanded initiative to produce written and video fact checks about the coronavirus, COVID-19, and vaccines in Spanish as well as English in an effort to reach underserved communities where long-standing social and health inequities have put people at greater risk of illness and death from COVID-19, and where vaccination rates have been low. To date it has produced more than 15 articles and videos in Spanish, including guides to the FDA-approved Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Other fact checks in Spanish include:
- No hay evidencia de que las vacunas afecten la fertilidad (No evidence vaccines impact fertility)
- Video difunde información falsa y engañosa sobre mascarillas (Video airs false, misleading claims about face masks)
- Video de SciCheck: Los hechos sobre las recomendaciones de uso de mascarillas del Dr. Fauci (SciCheck video: The facts about Fauci and masks)
- Video engañoso aviva miedos de comunidades de color respecto a vacuna contra el COVID-19 (Video uses bogus claims to stoke race-based fears of COVID-19 vaccine)
A guide to FactCheck.org’s coronavirus coverage can be found here.
About Univision News
Univision’s award-winning News division is committed to informing the country’s fastest-growing segment across all media platforms, including TV, radio, and interactive. Hispanics count on the latest and most relevant content that impacts the community through: “Noticiero Univision,” the network’s evening, late evening and weekend national newscast; Sunday public affairs program “Al Punto” (To The Point); newsmagazine shows “Aquí y Ahora” (Here and Now) and “Primer Impacto” (First Impact); as well as morning news segments on “Despierta América” (Wake Up America). Univision has strengthened its news team and expanded its news operations by adding Investigative and Documentary Units.
About the Annenberg Public Policy Center
The Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) was established in 1993 to educate the public and policy makers about communication’s role in advancing public understanding of political, science, and health issues at the local, state, and federal levels. Its project FactCheck.org was cofounded in 2003 by APPC Director Kathleen Hall Jamieson and journalist Brooks Jackson as a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters. In 2015 it launched the feature SciCheck to investigate science-based claims. Find @APPCPenn on Twitter and Facebook.