Playing the game against online disinformation

02.05.2019, Luxembourg, RTL Group

RTL Group has announced the winners of the ‘Factory – Filtering Fakes From Facts’ initiative.

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The winning team “Check Norris” is comprised of Rustem Abzhanov, BroadbandTV, Guillaume Braghini, RTL Group, Martin Chiffers, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, Meike Koch, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, András Lévai, RTL Hungary, and Pascal Melkonian, Groupe M6. The group was mentored by Sebastian Werner, Topic Lead Social Media at RTL Interactive. Check Norris is an educational game for young news consumers which places the user in the position of a journalist. It playfully increases media literacy of the user in a fun way and engages the player to safely navigate through the internet and learn to distinguish credible content from online disinformation.

The participants of the Factory Hackathon © Andreas Friese

The innovation challenge Factory launched with a virtual training in January 2019 and was open for all RTL Group employees. Following the training, 28 participants were selected to participate in a hackathon, which took place on 29 and 30 April 2019 at Bertelsmann Unter den Linden 1 in Berlin. The contestants from across RTL Group’s businesses developed in five different groups their own creative products and services aimed at improving the media literacy skills of young news consumers. After using various design thinking methods they then pitched their idea to a jury.

Sonja Schwetje, N-TV Editor-in-Chief © Hardy Welsch

Sonja Schwetje, Editor-in-Chief of N-TV and jury member of Factory, says: “Disinformation online is one of the biggest challenges for democratic societies right now – especially ahead of the European elections. As a journalist, every day I experience how important it is to evaluate information by checking the credibility of sources, financial or political involvement or the activity of bots. As these considerations are becoming increasingly important for users, RTL Group’s Factory was a great opportunity to help young media users develop their media literacy skills. It was amazing to see the different ideas evolve from the initial concept stage to almost marketable products. Congratulations to all participants – there were only winners!”

Oliver Fahlbusch, Executive Vice President Corporate Communications & Marketing and Chairman Corporate Responsibility of RTL Group

Oliver Fahlbusch, Executive Vice President Corporate Communications & Marketing and Chairman Corporate Responsibility of RTL Group, comments: “At RTL Group, we believe our role goes beyond our commitment to responsible reporting – we can be part of the solution to tackle online disinformation. By launching Factory, we wanted to connect our talents across RTL Group, foster innovation in the field of media literacy and give the participants the freedom to create. The project therefore unites three important priorities of RTL Group: foster cooperation, develop new training programmes and be an attractive employer. Looking at the winning project Check Norris and the other creative ideas developed during the innovation challenge, Factory was a huge success at all levels.”

The winning team Check Norris was awarded by a prominent jury comprised of Tolgay Azman, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Stern, Mark Evans, Head of News at Enex, Marc Schreuder, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of RTL Nieuws at RTL Nederland, Sonja Schwetje, Editor-in-Chief of N-TV, Jessica Taylor Piotrowski, Associate Professor at the University of Amsterdam, Philipp Trunk, Head of Content Pool TV & Online at Info Network and Kim Younes, Marketing & Innovation Director at M6 Publicité.

Learn more about the Factory Hackathon in the new issue of Backstage in focus, coming on Wednesday, May 8, 2019.

Banner: The winning team “Check Norris” © Andreas Friese

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