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BBC and the Trusted News Initiative

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When vaccines became publicly and widely available in the UK during the global pandemic in late 2020, the BBC’s Director-General, TIM DAVIE, wrote an article in the BBC’s magazine “Radio Times” for the new year in 2021, titled “Fake News is bad for our health”, in which he declared that the BBC were playing a role in “…tackling harmful coronavirus conspiracy theories. Now we’re turning our attention to vaccines.” (“Radio Times”, 2-8th Jan 2021). 

The BBC had initiated in 2019 the TNI (Trusted News Initiative), “… the only forum in the world designed to take on fake news in real time…TNI partners will alert each other to vaccine disinformation as it arises”, Davie wrote. 

And who are these forum partners? Other major mainstream information sources, of course, including Google, Twitter, Microsoft, and Facebook. According to the BBC, 

“The TNI is an industry collaboration of major news and global tech organisations working together to stop the spread of disinformation where it poses risk of real-world harm. 

“The partners currently [July 2020] within the TNI are: AFP; BBC, CBC/Radio-Canada, European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Facebook, Financial Times, First Draft, Google/YouTube, The Hindu, Microsoft, Reuters, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Twitter, The Wall Street Journal. 

“At the [TNI] summit [chaired by the BBC’s Director-General, Tony Hall, in 2020], the TNI also agreed to engage with new verification technology, called Project Origin, led by a coalition of the BBC, CBC/Radio-Canada, Microsoft and The New York Times. 

“Trusted News Initiative (TNI) steps up global fight against disinformation with new focus on US presidential election [2020]” 

“New organisations joining TNI for the [2020] US Election: The Associated Press, The Washington Post. 

Tim Davie became the BBC’s Director General a few months before the pandemic was officially declared. Davie, a Cambridge University graduate, is a former chair of the BBC’s “Children in Need” charity