Trusted News Initiative

The Trusted News Initiative (TNI) is an international alliance of news media, social media and technology corporations described as a “real-time, early warning system to flag serious disinformation that may pose a threat to life or the integrity of the electoral process.”1)

History

Origin

The TNI was officially announced in September 2019 following an event called the Trusted News Summit convened by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).2) A BBC media release cites “recent events such as the Indian elections” as the inciting incidents leading to the group's creation.3) 4) 5)

Shift of Focus

In July 2020, the TNI announced it was working to “combat the spread of disinformation during the upcoming U.S. Presidential election.”6)

Though its initial mandate was related to elections, the TNI announced in March 2020 that it “will extend its efforts to identifying false and potentially harmful Coronavirus information” - just over two weeks after the World Health Organization (WHO)'s declaration of the multinational SARS-CoV-2 outbreak as a “pandemic”.7) 8) Then, “with the introduction of several possible new COVID-19 vaccines” at the end of 2020, the TNI shifted again “to focus on combatting the spread of harmful vaccine disinformation.”9)

Membership

Leadership

Jessica Cecil is the Director of the TNI, on behalf of the BBC.12)

Work

Publications

Cecil authored an article published by the Paris Peace Forum claiming that “disinformation kills”, citing “false cures and lies about vaccines” and invoking the “Capital riots” on January 6th, 2021. She also claimed that individuals spreading “Fake News” are gaining financially. Apparently without realizing the irony, she followed up by applauding social media organizations increasing funding to pay journalists for “accurate news”.13)

1)
Fenlon, B. (2021, March 4). Canadian trust in journalism is wavering. Here’s what CBC News is doing about it. CBC News. https://archive.ph/6DQuL
2)
New collaboration steps up fight against disinformation. (2019, September 7). BBC. https://archive.ph/HBEuR
3)
Reality Check Team. (2021, April 19). India election 2019: The debunked fake news that keeps coming back. BBC. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-47878178
4)
Das, A., & Schroeder, R. (2020, March 10). Online disinformation in the run-up to the Indian 2019 election. Information, Communication & Society, 24(12), 1762–1778. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2020.1736123
5)
Poonam, S., & Bansal, S. (2019, March 31). Indian Misinformation Will Decide World’s Largest Election. The Atlantic. https://archive.ph/MEkYZ
6)
Ramachadran, N. (2020, July 13). System Set Up to Fight Fake News During U.S. Presidential Election. Variety. https://archive.ph/cTI2m
7)
Cucinotta, D., & Vanelli, M. (2020). WHO Declares COVID-19 a Pandemic. Acta Bio-Medica : Atenei Parmensis, 91(1), 157–160. https://doi.org/10.23750/ABM.V91I1.9397
8)
Media Centre. (2020, March 27). Trusted News Initiative announces plans to tackle harmful Coronavirus disinformation. BBC. https://www.bbc.com/mediacentre/latestnews/2020/coronavirus-trusted-news
9)
Media Centre. (2020, December 10). Trusted News Initiative (TNI) to combat spread of harmful vaccine disinformation and announces major research project. BBC. https://archive.ph/MEkYZ
10)
Trusted News Initiative. BBC. Retrieved May 30, 2022, from https://archive.ph/NixlU
11)
Snow, S. (2021, December 26). Trusted News Initiative: Freedom of the press? Bonner County Dailer Bee. https://archive.ph/5lmep
12) , 13)
Cecil, J. (2022, February 22). A new consensus for the post-COVID-19 world: Disinformation. Paris Peace Forum. https://archive.ph/AAkYU
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