Citizen Media Network on Friday (02) launched Sri Lanka’s newest fact checking organization ‘Citizen Fact Check’. Citizen Fact Check now joins other media outlets of the Citizen Media Network including Esana, Citizen.lk, Your News and Citizen Wrap.
Dedicated to dispelling both misinformation and disinformation in Sri Lanka, Citizen Fact Check is the first of its kind to be launched by a local media network. The official launch of the outlet and its website was held at Hatch, Colombo 01 on Friday (02) evening. The event also coincided with the annual International Fact Checking Day declared by the International Fact-Checking Network of the Poynter Institute which is the premier global coalition of fact-checking organizations. Joining the event Ferdi Ferhat Özsoy the Program Manager of IFCN addressed the gathering through a short video message.
The main guest speech of the event was delivered by Nalaka Gunawardane, a veteran journalist and leading analyst on social, cultural and political impacts of information and communications technologies (ICTs) in Sri Lanka and South Asia.
The gathering was also addressed by Member of Parliament representing the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Premanath C. Dolawatta, Former MP of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Bimal Rathnayake, Propaganda Secretary of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Youth Front Rasika Jayakody and Director of the Media Center for National Development Milinda Rajapaksha. The speakers shared their experiences with misinformation with those gathered while highlighting the importance of fact checking to counter the flood of mis/disinformation within the country.
Co-Founder and Director of Digital Content (Pvt) Ltd, the funding organization of Citizen Fact Check, Chamila Prasad Karunaratne also addressed the gathering while the founder and the Editor in Chief of Citizen Fact Check Sandun Arosha Fernando presented the fact checking methodology used by Citizen Fact Check titled ‘The Traffic Light Check’.
The website of the new initiative https://citizen.lk/factcheck/ was launched with the participation of the main invitees.
Police Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana, Former Reuters Bureau Chief in Sri Lanka Shihar Aneez, Director of Communications of the Parliament Shan Wijetunge and other key figures representing various fields were also in attendance.
Members of the public can reach Citizen Fact Check to seek the organization’s assistance to verify any claims or information by visiting its Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CitizenChecked or by sending in the claims to 076 693 2784 on Whatsapp.