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Lakmusz: Mission

This project aims mainly at:

  • Creating a platform of reference for digital verification in Hungary by bringing together the international experience of Agence France-Presse (AFP) in that field and 444.hu’s track record in Hungary,
  • Understanding better the disinformation phenomenon by boosting academic research in that field in Hungary (Media Universalis Foundation – ELTE university),
  • Bringing together the short-term perspective of media practitioners and the long-term one of researchers so that both benefit from that experience,
  • Disseminate the results as widely as possible in Hungary and beyond.

The three key partners of this 15-month pilot project, that is co-financed by the European Union, are supported in the technical field by French company ePressPack. Our common venture has officially started November 1 and we’re planning to launch a website – lakmusz.hu - early January.

The proximity of Hungary’s next general elections in 2022 makes this venture even more relevant since the related electoral campaign is bound to generate a flurry of attempts to mislead the opinion. This project will create a unique European multidisciplinary community in Hungary, that also aims at cooperating with other similar endeavors throughout Europe, at a time where the fight against disinformation has become a major challenge for democracies.

Both 444.hu, a well-established and successful independent Hungarian news website, and the news agency AFP, a leading global organization in digital verification, will publish “fact checks” in Hungarian on the website. AFP will train 444.hu staff.

Media academics of ELTE’s university renowned Department for Media & Communication will help better understand the phenomenon of disinformation with specific research projects. They will do so under the umbrella of MUA, a foundation assisting the work at ELTE university.

All three intend to carry our several initiatives of media literacy towards the public. Tools and tutorials helping tracking disinformation will be available on the website. We are also planning seminars and conferences on this issue. Our aim: help improving the culture of awareness towards campaigns of disinformation in the public and reach the biggest possible impact.