WAN-IFRA and The Straits Times’ fight against fake news

SMU president, Arnoud De Meyer

WAN-IFRA and The Straits Times, the English-language flagship daily of Singapore Press Holdings, will jointly organize a two-day workshop on 19 and 20 June to develop concrete initiatives to fight against spread of misinformation and to improve media literacy in Asia.

The workshop will be held at Singapore Management University. K Shanmugam, minister for home affairs and for law, Singapore will deliver the opening address.
The two-day event is an initiative undertaken by WAN-IFRA to address the crucial issues surrounding the relationship between publishers and social platforms. The event will bring together media publishers, journalists, policymakers, industry players and other stakeholders with the objective to come up with concrete initiatives to fight against the spread of misinformation and improve media literacy in Asia.

The growing use of social media platforms as a main source of information has facilitated the emergence of a myriad ‘alt-facts’ or ‘alt-truths’ filter bubbles, which tend to isolate and confuse people. With deliberate hoaxes created to cause mischief, manipulate opinions and votes or make money, to media outlets re-circulating unverified or erroneous content, the misinformation ecosystem of fake news has become a pressing danger ​to modern societies. Talking in the interest of media organizations, Warren Fernandez, editor-in-chief of English, Malay and Tamil Media group (EMTM) of Singapore Press Holdings says, “The spread of fake news around the world is focusing minds on the need for good, credible and reliable journalism. Media organizations have an interest in retaining the trust of their readers. Democracies have an interest in ensuring that they have media organizations that meet voters’ needs for reliable information, to help them make good choices.  This forum will delve into how these interests are best served today.”

Arnoud De Meyer, SMU president and professor, observes, “Universities like Singapore Management University (SMU), too, have an important role to play through education and research. We can impart to students the skills in critical thinking and analysis, to be circumspect and be able to discern credible sources of information from non-credible ones, and to be open to diverse views for a more balanced perspective.”

Lynn McDonald, high commissioner of Canada and Ian Wilson, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce believes that the fake news phenomenon affects us all and addressing this issue requires strong, ongoing collaboration between governments and the private sector. They also believe that it is critical for everyone to work together to preserve the integrity of news and information.


‘Keep it Real: Truth and Trust in the Media’ will be organized in partnership with the Canadian High Commission, Facebook, Google, Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS), the National Library Board and the SMU. The event will be open to general public.

Day 1 will hold a conference to look at practical fact-checking projects from Asia and world over. Apart from a series of presentations, the speakers will be part of panel discussions on efforts undertaken by internet companies, journalism schools, government agencies and independent organizations to improve media literacy and provide societies with reliable facts that enable well-informed, constructive public debates.

Day 2 will split selected participants into three workshops to discuss and identify concrete fact-checking measures and projects, consisting media literacy programs, legal and regulatory framework to tackle misinformation.

WAN-IFRA’s international expert group

WAN-IFRA recently established a specialist group to tap members’ experience with platforms and get a measure of relations with the tech giants. The company is constructive to understand what’s working and what’s not – and what media executives think could be done. A total of 150 media executives from 50 countries have already joined WAN-IFRA’s international expert group.

Lastly, debates on fake news and the role of social platforms will be  discussed at the upcoming WAN-IFRA’s  World News Media Congress  to be held in Durban, South Africa, between 7 and 9 June.

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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