Cekfakta.com Playbook ID
Table of Contents
6. Benefits for National Media
(The following section is written as a testimony by KBR Editor-in-Chief Citra Prastuti who tells how the CekFakta.com collaboration has helped the media diversify their products to reach a more diverse audience.)
That afternoon, mid-2018, during a consolidation meeting between MAFINDO and several media organizations part of the Cek Fakta collaboration. This was just one of those frequent preliminary meetings organized by different media offices—members of the CekFakta.com network, which had happened to be at the BeritaSatu office in Jalan Gatot Subroto, next to the Kuningan area in South Jakarta.
As I arrived at the meeting, MAFINDO co-founder Aribowo Sasmito was exasperatedly complaining about the many hoaxes and misinformation that the MAFINDO team has to debunk. “In a day, there could be six hoaxes, sometimes more,” said Sasmito.
At the time, I came to the meeting with Danang Kukuh Wardoyo, who managed the digital development at KBR, since one of the agenda items of the discussion revolved around the Yudistira content management system (CMS) that this collaboration was planning to use.
Hearing Sasmito's complaints, Wardoyo and I immediately looked at each other, and we both could see that many different ideas had started coursing through our heads at that very moment. Coincidentally, at that time, KBR had just begun developing its first podcast. So after the meeting, we approached Sasmito and said, “Mas, let's collaborate to make a Cek Fakta podcast!”
Sasmito welcomed this idea, and we immediately set out our first agenda to produce a "product dummy.” At the time, KBR had yet to have an internal fact-checking team due to several limitations. That was why we decided to produce content collaboratively, putting forward the authorities of our friends at MAFINDO. They have the expertise in fact-checking. We believe that was the true principle of real collaboration — collecting many forces to push forward a more significant motion. Is not everyone an expert on at least one thing? So, collaboration is vital.
Then, we met at KBR's office, picked one hoax to debunk for our joint production, and then we listened to it together.
“Many media outlets have their own fact-checking team. We tried to create something different. In the beginning, we discussed the most shared hoaxes directly with the people who work on the debunking. Including providing tips on how to avoid or identify hoaxes,” said KBR Program and Podcast Manager Malika. She was also involved in producing Cek Fakta's dummy content with MAFINDO.
The Cek Fakta podcast was one of the first generations of collaborative podcasts produced by KBR, under the banner of KBR Prime that focuses on podcast production development. Episode 1 of Cek Fakta targeted a hoax on the measles vaccine that was trending in August 2018. The hoax was then debunked during the show by the MAFINDO team. At the time, a podcast was not as popular as today.
That was why we used our network of radio stations in 34 provinces to our advantage. The Cek Fakta audio product was included in a segment during the morning prime time radio broadcast “KBR Pagi.” It was remastered as a podcast production broadcasted on the KBR Prime platform (www.kbrprime.id) and distributed through Spotify, Google Podcast, etc.
As time went by, a spin-off podcast with a longer duration based on the Cek Fakta radio segment was produced. And from December 2019, this podcast was re-introduced by KBR to its network of radio stations. Currently, Cek Fakta is packaged as a podcast that was also broadcasted by seven KBR radio station network in Banyuwangi (East Java), Pangandaran (West Java), Toili (Central Sulawesi), Muaro Jambi and Sengeti (Jambi), Lubuk Linggau (South Sumatera), and Denpasar (Bali).
The KBR and MAFINDO collaboration journey taught us many things about how people interact with hoaxes dan misinformation. “There is a lot of HLBK, in Mas [Sasmito]’s words,” said Cek Fakta podcast host Don Brady. HLBK is short for Hoaks Lama Bersemi Kembali (Old Hoax Burn Again). “Every week, there is always a hoax on religion. At least one in the ‘Top 5 Hoax of the Week’.” Sometimes we find hoaxes that we think are too strange to be true. The editorial team scratches their head and thinks, ”This is bizarre. Do people really believe it?” But that is the reality: many hoaxes are too weird to be true, yet many still believe them.
The format currently being used by the Cek Fakta podcast is the “Top 5 Hoax of the Week”, which is a compilation of the top five hoaxes with the highest engagement in social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). “From there, we looked into the facts behind these hoaxes and explained them in detail to the listeners. That way, this podcast invites people to be critical and more skillful in identifying the information that they receive,” said Cek Fakta podcast producer Wydia Angga. “Hopefully, the listeners can learn how to debunk by themselves, just like the fact-checkers.”
The Cek Fakta Podcast had reached its 160th episode when this article was written. With the power of collaboration, the fight against hoaxes and misinformation will march on, calling the people via the audio channel — through podcast and radio networks. Until today, this collaborative product of ours is the only audio content specially produced to fight hoaxes. We need more content and varying formats to reach the audience. (*).
IMPORTANT LESSONS LEARNED
- The CekFakta.com collaboration triggered many similar collaborative programs from its member network. From one comes thousands.
- An ideal collaboration uses the strength of one party lacking in another party and working together to unite all those strengths into something more impactful.
- All members of the network use the contents at CekFakta.com and reproduce them into various formats according to the needs of their audience. That way, the reach and impact of each fact-checking content can multiply.