International Fact-Checking Network nominated for Nobel Prize

By the International Fact-Checking Network

The International Fact-Checking Network, housed at the non-profit Poynter Institute for Media Studies, has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by Norwegian lawmaker Trine Skei Grande. She cited its work setting standards for global fact-checking and fighting the proliferation of false information in announcing her nomination.

Director Baybars Örsek responded on Twitter Thursday thanking Skei Grande saying, “this nomination tells so much about the importance of truth and its weight in our discourse.”

In 2020, the IFCN brought together 99 fact-checking organizations from over 70 countries to collaborate as part of the CoronaVirusFacts Alliance. Dubawa was actively involved in the alliance. 

As of Jan. 21, 2021, the alliance has compiled over 10,000 fact-checks in 43 languages related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Nov. 2020, the alliance’s work was recognized by the Paris Peace Forum when it was selected as one of 10 projects to receive special support from the forum’s Scale-Up Committee. 

In an interview with Norwegian news outlet NRK, Skei Grande said the rapid spread of online falsehoods makes facts and fact-checking more important than ever.

“Social media has a proliferating effect that former dictators or fake news broadcasters can only dream of,” she told NRK. In a tweet Thursday, Skei Grande cited U.S. President Joe Biden’s inaugural speech highlighting his emphasis on facts and the truth as a major impetus behind her decision to nominate the IFCN. 

“In war, truth is the first victim’ and we live in a time where fighting lies is so important, that ⁦@JoeBiden⁩ mention it in his speech yesterday,” She tweeted. Biden’s address made nine references to ‘truth,’ ‘facts,’ and ‘lies.’  He called on America’s leaders and its citizens to protect the nation saying they should, “defend the truth and defeat the lies.”

According to its website, the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awards the Peace Prize, will continue to solicit nominees until Feb. 1. This group will be whittled down to a shortlist sometime between February and March. After a review by the committee between March and August, the Nobel laureates in each of the Nobel foundation’s six categories will be announced, with an awarding ceremony Dec. 10 in Oslo, Norway. 

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