First woman head of AIBD to tackle fake news


KUALA LUMPUR: The Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) is embarking on a comprehensive study to counter the global threat of fake news, says its director Philomena Gnanapragasam (pic).

“We are working with the information ministers of several members states, Unesco, including foreign and local experts, on fake news under the Angkor Anti-Fake News Initiative.

“We need to look into fake news today as it has been used to even take out political leaders in some countries,” she said at a press conference at the AIBD office in Kompleks Angkasapuri here yesterday.

Philomena, who became the first woman to head AIBD, said fake news had become a global threat.

She said the findings of the year-long study would be presented at a media summit in Nepal next June, where some 1,000 broadcasters are expected to attend.

“The study aims to come out with policies for regional governments on how they can counter fake news, either through laws or other mechanisms,” she said, citing an example in France where an app that was developed to allow the public to filter out fake news.

Philomena, a well-respected broadcaster with over 30 years of experience in radio and television programming, said AIBD would also hold a gathering of information ministers from at least 14 nations in Samoa early next year.

She said the meeting, the first of its kind, would pave the way for discussions on the development of broadcast in the region, including on how to deal with fake news.

Philomena, who will helm AIBD for the next five years, said she was keen to revamp and revitalise the institute in tandem with the evolution of the broadcasting industry.

AIBD comprises 26 full member countries, with a membership of 108 nations and private corporations.

It comes under the auspices of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) for the development of the electronic media.

Hosted by Malaysia, AIBD was set up in 1977 through the initiative of former prime minister, the late Tunku Abdul Rahman.

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