Elections, journalism, and transparency: CEJ-IBA launches fact-checking initiative ahead of General Elections 2024

    The Center of Excellence in Journalism at the Institute of Business Administration (CEJ-IBA) has launched a non-partisan fact-checking initiative, iVerify, to advance the scope of independent and unbiased reporting in the country’s journalistic landscape.

    Addressing the iVerify launch ceremony at Serena Hotel, Islamabad, Amber Rahim Shamsi, Director CEJ-IBA, said that the tool would prove to be an important step in ensuring transparent and verifiable news reporting and investigation methodologies. She added that “seeing the rise of misinformation in both digital and conventional media spaces, the fact-checking mechanism established by iVerify shall become a cornerstone of reliable, non-partisan journalism in Pakistan.”

    iVerify currently offers one of the few robust verification approaches for journalists in the country, emphasizing eliminating bias, authenticating facts, and processing news articles through manual examination. It is internationally accredited by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and has been successfully implemented in several countries around the world.

    The tool allows journalists and media professionals to submit their stories via iVerify’s portal on the CEJ-IBA website, where their story is gauged through a multi-pronged approach comprising of data-driven and language-based evaluation before being verified for accuracy in terms of factual representation and contextualization.

    The launch was followed by a panel discussion by senior media professionals, including Mansoor Ali Khan, Zahrah Mazhar, Farhad Jarral, Absa Komal, Umer Cheema, and Nizam Salarzai, who dissected the utility of a fact-checking tool in a high-stakes journalism environment. Given the potentially volatile nature of newsrooms during election transmissions anticipated during the incoming general elections, the panel agreed that the tool should prove to play a critical role in curbing the spread of misinformed news stories and making space for responsible, careful journalism.

    About CEJ-IBA:

    The CEJ was established in 2014 to raise standards in journalism through training workshops, fellowships, awards, and a graduate program in journalism. With a network of over four thousand journalists across Pakistan, the CEJ provides opportunities to learn, innovate, and network due to its unique position at the cusp of academia and the journalism industry. iVerify’s mission is to empower voters with verified and reliable information, fostering a transparent electoral process and a well-informed electorate. In an era where misinformation and disinformation can have profound consequences on trust in the democratic process, or violence, iVerify is dedicated to upholding the principles of accuracy, transparency, and integrity in elections.

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