Journalists play a crucial role in disseminating evidenced-based information. If journalists are unable to tell the difference between fake news, misinformation, disinformation and factual or reliable news, it’s unlikely their audience will be able to. Simply put, misinformation is incorrect or unscientific information, while disinformation is the deliberate spreading of information that is known to be false with the malicious intent to deceive people.
How can journalists navigate rumours and fake news about vaccines and other evidence-based health interventions in a digital age, when information spreads rapidly and impacts on the decisions people make about their lives? Science journalist and Internews contributor Adele Baleta has compiled this checklist to help journalists debunk false information and rumours about vaccines.