Digitally Right has partnered with the Global Disinformation Index (GDI) to launch a pioneering report titled “Disinformation Risk Assessment: The Online News Market in Bangladesh”. The report provides insights on the dangers of disinformation in Bangladesh’s media industry, based on a study of 33 news domains.
The report was unveiled during an online event on March 28th, 2023, which included presentations from the Research Director at the Global Disinformation Index, and Digitally Right’s Founder, Miraj Ahmed Chowdhury. The event featured Shafiqul Alam, Bureau Chief at AFP, Dhaka, Ayesha Kabir, Head of English, Prothom Alo, Talat Mamun, Executive Director, Channel 24, and Saiful Alam Chowdhury, Associate Professor, Dhaka University, who shared their insights on the report.
The report presents GDI’s findings on disinformation risks in the media market of Bangladesh, based on a study of 33 news domains, and aims to provide an overview of the media market as a whole and its strengths and vulnerabilities.
The assessment found that all 33 domains had a medium to high risk of disinforming their users, including respected sites known for their independent news coverage. Sixteen sites had a high disinformation risk rating, and half of the sample had a medium risk rating. However, no site performed so poorly as to earn a maximum risk rating.
According to the findings, the main source of disinformation risk in Bangladesh media sites is the lack of transparent operational checks and balances. While all sites scored strongly in presenting unbiased, neutral, and accurate articles, 28 sites had no form of accuracy policy on their websites. Most sites lacked policies for editorial checks and balances including for post publication corrections, comment moderation, byline information, fact checking, and sourcing as well as clarity on funding and ownership structures.
The report highlights operational shortcomings that are hampering trust and transparency in the media industry. Recommendations made in the report urge news sites to adopt and make transparent universal standards of good journalistic practices, such as publishing beneficial ownership and funding information, maintaining a corrections policy, publishing bylines policies, and sourcing guidelines.
The findings show many of the operational issues afflicting the Bangladeshi websites can easily be fixed by adopting and making transparent universal standards of good journalistic practices as agreed upon by the Journalism Trust Initiative.
This risk-rating framework for Bangladesh provides crucial information to enable decision-makers to stem the tide of money that incentivizes and sustains disinformation and the report is aimed to encourage greater transparency and accountability in Bangladesh’s media landscape.
Digitally Right and the Global Disinformation Index (GDI) are launching a study into the disinformation risks on digital news platforms in Bangladesh. The study is based on an assessment of editorial and operational transparency in 33 Bangladeshi news domains creating an index that intends to serve the media and advertisers that they can utilize to defund disinformation.
The virtual launch event for the report is scheduled for 10:30 am on March 28th, 2023, and it will be held on Zoom. The event will feature an expert panel of media editors, researchers, and representatives from GDI and Digitally Right. To register for the event, please visit the following link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_0hTiIud-RHelA54ep1C0pw
The expansion of news into the online world has exposed the industry to new risks of disinformation, which can be financially incentivized for news websites. Disinformation can have harmful consequences, such as disrupting society’s shared sense of accepted facts and undermining public health and safety.
To combat ad-funded disinformation, GDI provides independent, trusted, and neutral ratings of news domains’ risk of disinforming their readers. These ratings can be used by advertisers, ad tech companies, and platforms to redirect their online ad spending in line with their brand safety and disinformation risk-mitigation strategies.
In 2022, GDI rated the disinformation risks of news sites in 20 countries around the world. Digitally Right, a Dhaka based media and technology research company collaborated with GDI to conduct the online news market assessment in Bangladesh.
We invite you to the launch event of the report titled “Disinformation Risk Assessment: The Online News Market in Bangladesh,” and a panel discussion that focuses on the risk of disinformation, trust in media, and their impact on media sustainability.
Digitally Right launched Dismislab, an independent information laboratory to tackle online misinformation and disinformation and enhance the critical thinking ability of the audience and media professionals in Bangladesh.
Launched as an experimental project in January 2023, the Dismislab carries out cutting-edge research to understand the trends in media and information space; factcheck and debunk falsehoods that impact society and people’s lives and offers training on online verification for newsrooms and university students to improve their fact-checking skills.
It provides in-depth articles to improve media literacy and act as a media watchdog by providing a space for journalists and academics to publish well-researched pieces on the role and practices of the media as a provider of critical information to its audience.
With the name Dismislab, inspired by the words “dis” and “mis” information and “dismissal”, it seeks to dismiss false and harmful information by presenting facts and contexts. It also aims to look into the source and intent of (mis)information to help the audience navigate an information disorder.
Dismislab has four objectives:
To build and promote media literacy at all levels through verification and research.
To present facts by verifying online misinformation and disinformation.
To help the media to avoid disinformation traps by providing training and mentoring.
To make open source data accessible and understandable to the people.
In its launch, the site published various articles including on influence operations, financially motivated disinformation, clickbait networks, and critical issues like health and religion. For more, please visit the site: dismislab.com