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Sarajevo to Host World’s Largest Fact-Checking Conference

Admir Hodžić

Global Fact 11, one of the largest media conferences worldwide, is set to take place in Sarajevo next summer. The announcement was made yesterday by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies from Florida (USA).

Global Fact

Renowned as the premier gathering for media newsrooms dedicated to fact-checking, Global Fact has historically convened in major cities such as London, Buenos Aires, Madrid, Rome, Cape Town, Oslo, and Seoul. With over 3,700 attendees from across the globe, it stands as the largest and most influential conference of its kind.

Sarajevo will mark the first city in the Western Balkans region to host Global Fact, expecting to draw between 500 and 600 media professionals, journalists, fact-checkers, disinformation combatants, academics, IT experts, and media scholars. Distinguished past participants include Nobel Prize winner Maria Ressa of Rappler (Philippines), Pulitzer Prize winner and historian Anne Applebaum, Duke University journalism professor and IFCN initiator Bill Adair, and fact-checking editors from reputable media outlets such as Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post and Barbara Whitaker of the Associated Press. Moreover, representatives from various online platforms including Facebook, TikTok, and Google have been regular attendees.

The conference will feature presentations and discussions centered around the current challenges confronting fact-checkers, with a particular focus on leveraging artificial intelligence, addressing disinformation campaigns post-elections, and exploring various other critical topics relevant to contemporary journalism.

The organizer of Global Fact is the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), which was launched by the Poynter Institute in 2015.

Serving as the local partner and host for this year’s conference is the Citizens’ Association “Why not,” an organization overseeing two prominent fact-checking newsrooms: Istinomjer and Raskrinkavanje, supported by the regional fact-checking network SEE Check, which includes Raskrinkavanje from Montenegro, Faktograf from Croatia, Raskrikavanje and Fake News Tragac from Serbia and Razkrikavanje from Slovenia.

“Fact-checkers in Bosnia and the rest of the Balkans were founding members of the International Fact-Checking Network and have been tireless in their efforts to bring accurate, high-quality information to their communities,” said IFCN director Angie Drobnic Holan.

“We are excited to bring fact-checkers around the world together to experience the beauty and history of Sarajevo,” said Drobnic Holan.

“We are incredibly excited to partner with IFCN in hosting GlobalFact in Sarajevo in 2024,” said Tijana Cvjetićanin, head of fact-checking at Why Not. “Our region has been at the forefront of fighting disinformation for years, and we are thrilled that our global community will meet here, at its very heart. We are especially grateful for the opportunity to share the spirit of solidarity and cooperation that we have nurtured through our regional network.”

IFCN comprises over 140 media newsrooms committed to fact-checking and are signatories to its Code of Principles. These newsrooms span across 65 countries and publish content in 80 languages. In recognition of its efforts to advance fact-based journalism, IFCN was nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize.

Further details regarding the event date, registration, and online participation options will be forthcoming. Additionally, it has been announced that Global Fact 12 will take place in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 2025.