AFP and Google join forces to offer new digital fact-checking tool 

Fabrice Fries, who joined AFP in 2018 as director general, presented, alongside Sébastien Missoffe, managing director of Google France, the new digital tool « Objectif désinfox ». Its ambition: to train journalists in depth in digital fact-checking. 

By Philippine RAMOGNINO and Luca MATTEUCCI

(c) Amy Thorpe
  • Building upon the « CrossCheck » project launched during the 2017 edition of the NPDJ, the « Objectif désinfox » platform aims to accompany journalists in the fight against digital disinformation.
  • « Technology only makes sense when men appropriate it » , argued Sebastien Missoffe. Objectif désinfox is thus based on the collaboration between journalists and tech companies.
  • As most national newsrooms already are equipped with sophisticated fact checking tools, Objectif désinfox is primarily aimed at journalists from the regional daily press.

Five years ago, during the NPDJ, Google and AFP presented a collaborative project, CrossCheck, whose ambition was to help journalists verify their information. The project launched this Monday, December 6 at 27 rue Saint Guillaume retains the same objective, this time through the training of journalists. « We will help newsrooms to produce fact-checks on the presidential election, and will highlight the best productions on the AFP website and Youtube channel » , Fabrice Fries announced.

Putting technology at the service of journalists is the objective that Google and AFP have set themselves. The program is wide-ranging, from reverse image-search to online monitoring, including the fight against cyber-bullying. By taking advantage of sophisticated digital tools, news professionals will be able to spend more time in the field and go to the source for information. « The tool we will propose will allow journalists to be more efficient in their research, in their information monitoring, as well as in their verification work » , Fabrice Fries said. Journalists and journalism schools will have access to the platform from mid-January, and will be able to use it for free in the context of the media coverage of the presidential election.

Finally, Fabrice Fries announced the opening of two six-month fixed-term contracts for young graduates of journalism schools. Priority will be given to profiles from the diversity. The lucky ones will join the AFP editorial staff and participate in the « very ambitious project » that is Objectif désinfox. To apply, visit the AFP website.

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