GMA Integrated News — the ‘News Authority ng Filipino’ — further takes a firm stand against the spread of misinformation through its innovative online series “Facts Talk.”
As misinformation continues to challenge the credibility of online sources, “Facts Talk” aims to combat falsehoods, and at the same time, raise awareness and equip the public with accurate and trustworthy information.
The program seeks to use pre-bunking instead of traditional debunking and fact-checking techniques. Its objective is to empower viewers with the knowledge needed to make informed choices and underscore the importance of vigilance in navigating online spaces.
“We at GMA Integrated News have always believed that an informed and engaged audience is key to winning the battle against fake news,” said Senior Vice President and Head of GMA Integrated News Oliver Victor B. Amoroso. “This is why we purposefully chose pre-bunking as our method of combating misinformation, because studies show that it’s more effective to prevent fake news from spreading if we already arm our audience with the facts and critical thinking skills needed to resist misinformation and deceptive narratives.”
The digital show rocketed into screens with a special launch campaign on October 18. Hosted by Sparkle artists Jillian Ward and Andre Paras, the first episode of the six-part series titled “Ano ang mga sign na peke ang beauty at medical products?” delves into the dangers of medical scams, and raises awareness on how viewers can be more diligent in buying medical, cosmetic and beauty products, especially online.
Using meme journalism, “Facts Talk” skillfully tackles serious and vital topics in a manner that appeals to both the Filipino masses and Gen Z.
“Facts Talk” is the latest among the InoculatED digital tools and news products developed by GMA Integrated News Digital Strategy and Innovation Lab (DigiLab).
In 2022, the InoculatED project won the Google News Initiative (GNI) Asia Pacific Innovation Challenge. Under the said project, GMA Network develops news products that would “inoculate” audiences by empowering them to be more resistant to misinformation – the same way vaccines protect and immunize the population from various illnesses.
InoculatED is managed by DigiLab Senior Program Manager and Deputy Head Bernice Sibucao and DigiLab Assistant Manager Lala Lacsina as Project Managers, and Senior Digital Video Specialist Zay Arguelles as Assistant Project Manager.
According to Sibucao, “There will be more videos coming out from our Facts Talk title, most of which will be short vertical videos to cater to the emerging digital and social media platforms formats.”
“With Facts Talk, we made sure to pattern the tone, style, and execution of our videos based on the information-seeking behaviors of our online audience because we believe that to effectively inform the public, you have to meet them where they are,” she added.
True to the program’s objective, “Facts Talk”, in collaboration with GMA Integrated News’ citizen journalism arm “Balita Ko,” has also released a series of informative pre-bunking videos for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE). Titled “Facts Talk: Balita Ko,” the series aims to address common questions related to the barangay elections, ensuring that voters have access to accurate and trustworthy information.
The “Facts Talk: Balita Ko” is a project produced by GMA Integrated News Social Media Team and spearheaded by Assistant Vice President and Deputy Head for Integrated News Social Media, Aileen Perez, with Social Media Manager Audrey Domasian, Assistant Manager Alex Castro, and Social Media Producers Bea Iglesia and Daeron Pabiloña.
“Every election project is crucial for journalists because this is the time when we have to do everything we can to win against disinformation. Half the battle is won if we can pack all the substantial information in bite-sized posts. We hope that through this project, we’d be able to engage and encourage our audience to make informed and smart decisions, especially when it comes to choosing leaders,” said Perez.
With a total of nine informative episodes, netizens can look forward to “Facts Talk: Balita Ko” covering questions such as the earnings of barangay officials, the importance of voting in the Barangay Elections, do’s and don’ts during the elections, tie-breaking scenarios, eligibility to vote, manual vote counting, and what’s new in this year’s election.
“Facts Talk: Balita Ko” already has episodes available online such as “Ano ang tungkulin ng Sangguniang Kabataan or SK?” with Nico Waje and “Paano bumoto sa manual election?” with Mark Salazar. Mav Gonzales informs the public regarding the honorariums for barangay leaders; 24 Oras anchor Emil Sumangil discusses why it’s important for the public to vote at the BSKE; and reporter James Agustin discusses the do’s and dont’s during voting day. Other videos also include Tina Panganiban-Perez discussing how to break a tie during the manual count of the elections; Darlene Cay on who are qualified to vote; digital reporter Sherilyn Untalan on what’s new this barangay election; and digital reporter Gail Cayetano on how manual voting will be conducted.
Episodes released so far for “Facts Talk: Balita Ko” have reached nearly 400,000 views across multiple platforms and continue to educate the voters, especially during the barangay and SK campaign season.