Agence Science-Presse wins CJF-Facebook Journalism Project News Literacy Award

Agence Science-Presse, an independent, Montreal-based non-profit media organization, is the recipient of the CJF-Facebook Journalism Project News Literacy Award, presented by The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) and the Facebook Journalism Project.

Agence Science-Presse’s eight-week winning effort took place in a Montreal high school, where a journalist-in-residence helped students verify the news found on social media. More specifically, they explored disinformation in science with a critical eye. Once they debunked a rumour of their choice, it then became the subject of a written, audio or video document that was published on the Agency's website in the "Détecteur de rumeur" (Rumour Detector) section under “Les Assistants du Détecteur de rumeurs” (The Rumour Detector Assistants).

“The CJF-Facebook award is designed to encourage producers and consumers of news and information to take their responsibilities seriously when it comes to quality and accuracy,” says Susan Harada, jury chair and associate director of Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication. “Not only did the Agence Science-Presse initiative tick all the boxes in innovative ways, it also zeroed in on science — an area where we have seen the impact of disinformation when it comes to issues related to health, food and climate change.”

The award, which carries a $10,000 prize, celebrates journalistic efforts that encourage Canadians to better understand and assess the quality of news they consume and to promote news literacy, generally. It also recognizes best practices that underpin factual reporting as key contributions to Canadian democracy.

The winner will be presented with the award at the annual CJF Awards on June 13 at the Fairmont Royal York. Tickets and tables and sponsorship opportunities are available.

About the Award

The CJF-Facebook Journalism Project News Literacy Award celebrates efforts to encourage Canadians to understand and critically assess the quality of news in their community as well as the practices that underpin factual reporting as key contributions to Canadian democracy.

As people get more information from a variety of platforms and sources, there is a greater responsibility on individual citizens to be more active in assessing both the accuracy and quality of the information they receive and the organizations that provide that information.

The CJF-Facebook Journalism Project News Literacy Award will not only promote news literacy and the importance of quality journalism, but also drive new and innovative initiatives and projects focused on this important issue. The winning organization will receive a $10,000 prize.

This award will be presented at the CJF Awards held June 13, 2019.

To Be Eligible:

Initiatives must be innovative, non-partisan, seeking to serve a public good and contributing to the news literacy of Canadians.

The following types of news projects would be eligible for the award:
- Journalistic works and undertakings that explore the relationship between journalism in all its forms and democratic engagement, with a focus on models for the future of news
- Projects that test new and/or innovative processes and/or practices that enlighten audiences about the time, effort and costs involved in maintaining standards of excellence and factual reporting in professional journalism in the digital age
- Innovative initiatives by news organizations and other relevant organizations that help create an informed news audience by providing them with the tools to help expose misinformation

Submissions must include:
• Description of how the initiative is used or will be used
• Objective of the initiative
• Target audience of the initiative
• Description of time component and resources devoted to delivering the initiative
• Explanation of how the initiative was tested
• Impact on audience (metrics of audience that used or interacted with the initiative)

Judging Methodology
The judging panel is comprised of four to eight jurors (with bilingual representatives), who review all submitted entries through an online portal, rank the entries and then attend a face-to-face meeting or participate via conference call with their rankings to agree upon the finalists (if applicable) and recipient of the award. The finalists would be announced in April and May. Only shortlisted candidates would be contacted. The recipient is announced at the annual CJF Awards gala held in Toronto. Here is the jury.


Radio-Canada was the recipient of the inaugural CJF-Facebook Journalism Project News Literacy Award for an initiative by weekly program Corde sensible designed to meet misinformation and false stories where they flourish — the social media networks of ordinary Canadians — presented in a short video Fausses Nouvelles : suffit d'y croire adapted for Facebook and YouTube to ensure shareability. 

About the Facebook Journalism Project
The Facebook Journalism Project aims to establish stronger ties between Facebook and the news industry. It collaborates with news organizations to develop products, learning from journalists about ways Facebook can be a better partner, and working with publishers and educators on how Facebook can equip people with the knowledge they need to be informed readers in the digital age. Through the development of collaborative news products and training and tools for journalists, Facebook aims to bring journalism into the digital age.