An illustrated interactive book on the infodemic alias fake news during COVID-19 titled “Break The Fake Toons” has been formally launched by Prof. KG Suresh, former Director-General of Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi and Prof. Ujjwal Choudhury, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Adamas University, Kolkata today at the Media Educators’ Round Table Conference. This live webinar was organised by ABP Education powered by the Telegraph and Ananda Bazar Patrika, where more than 2,000 media educators and media students registered.
With a sea of misinformation flooded around the novel coronavirus, Dr. Anamika Ray Memorial Trust, a non-profit educational and research organisation, initiated a campaign #CheckTheFake on #COVID19 in the month of April in collaboration with The Assam Tribune and NE Now. Before launching the book, Dr. Ankuran Dutta, principal investigator of the campaign project delivered a lecture on ‘Infodemic: Fake News’ at the webinar.
The campaign through two exclusive cartoon characters/protagonists – ‘Pandemic’ and ‘Infodemic’ beautifully represented by their own characteristics competing with each other revolves around the issues being circulated as misinformation. From introducing the new terminology used by the World Health Organization – ‘Infodemic’ as equally destructible to the declaration of the outbreak of COVID-19 as ‘Pandemic’, #CheckTheFake could easily understand the pulse of the crowd on social media by highlighting several issues later found to be false.
Dr. Dutta, the head of the project, said, “The process includes the research and development of the concept, tagline, dialogues of the characters by the research team. Then it was sent to the cartoonist followed by the finalization of the cartoon by the graphic designer and writing the description before releasing it on the website and social media platforms”.