Thursday, 09 April 2020 09:15

Corona Fake News හෙළිදරව්ව : Episode 1: Online release date 8 April 2020

In recent weeks, there has been a rising volume of disinformation on coronavirus infection and governmental responses. Spreading through rumour, social media platforms, messaging apps and sometimes even mainstream media, these can confuse the public and hinder public health efforts to contain the pandemic. Helidarawwa is a journalistic activity to analyse and counter key disinformation stories while promoting digital literacy among Sri Lankans.

The first episode carries segments:
• On 3 April 2020, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa issued a statement urging citizens to “beware of fake news and messages being circulated under my name via messenger platforms”. We ask the President’s media chief Mohan Samaranayake what led to this caution.
• Many media outlets reported on April 2 about a mosque in Kuttimale, Beruwala having held prayers during curfew and devotees resisting public health inspectors who came there for COVID-19 testing. We talk to journalist Tharindu Jayawardena on how he fact-checked and debunked this dangerous piece of fake news.
• A widely shared warning has been predicting a complete lockdown across Sri Lanka was imminent. We carry Deputy Inspector General of Police Ajith Rohana’s clarification that no such move is planned.

The programme ends with 3 key pieces of advice on how to verify information before sharing.

Presented by Nalaka Gunawardene and Anomaa Rajakaruna
Produced for IMS Sri Lanka by Hari Creations in partnership with the Electronic Broadcasters’ Guild of Sri Lanka and Truth Square – Network Against Disinformation.




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