Happy Friday readers!

In January 2021 Twitter banned Donald Trump, along with several other social media platforms, marking an important milestone in the debate around the limitations of free speech, when that speech is used to incite violence or spread misinformation. Recent introspection from celebrities like Chrissy Teigen has also spurred a larger debate on online harms on these platforms. 

The spread of fake news, mis-or disinformation is one of the biggest challenges journalists face, and it can often feel that disinformation goes viral and accurate information does not. We have seen this illustrated during the COVID-19 pandemic - if you Google pandemic misinformation, you will be met with a slew of articles in medical journals discussing the threat of viral misinformation. A recent article from Morning Brew also highlighted how nearly half of all ads on fake news sites come from Google, further exacerbating the problem with trust and credibility of fake news. 

One reason this is so pressing, is because the way we receive news has changed drastically in the past number of years. Ethan Zuckerman makes this point: Rather than seeing a curated homepage of news which editors think we should know, algorithms prioritise information we want to know. Social media emphasises this effect, as we tend to see the information our friends have liked or shown interest in. As our friends are likely going to be exactly like us - we may fall into echo chambers and discover less novel information than before the internet.

Whilst thinking about the news and media can be disheartening (the word doomscrolling immediately comes to mind), doing the research for this newsletter has left me hopeful. From mitigating bias in the newsroom to protecting and training journalists, as well as the integration of AI in journalism. There is much inspiring work being done to create a better future of news, essential for protecting public interest and sustaining a democracy. 

Hope you enjoy reading the below articles and as always, have a great weekend, 

Liv (Tech for Good Global Team)

Quote of the week

"We believe the story about technology is as big as the world that’s using it, and that everyone — from those building technology to those using it — can benefit from a broader global perspective." Rest of World

#Building a Better Future of News

💫  Here are three organisations doing really inspiring work in joining technology, journalism together to build communities, and create a better future of public-interest news: The Knight Foundation, Rest of World and Global Voices 

📄 The Working Group on the Sustainability of Journalism of the Forum on Information and Democracy, in response to a worsening international crisis facing the economic viability of independent professional journalism everywhere, calls for a new deal and sustained action to fund independent public-interest news. 

🫂 The SEEK Initiative is an international alliance of non-profit organisations, working to enable a global movement of individuals and communities who use reputable investigative methods and tools to expose what is happening in their societies and strengthen democracy. 

🔮 Explore the trends and predictions of journalism, media and technology in 2021 here, as set by Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

🛠 The spread of misinformation and disinformation, undermine people’s ability to make informed decisions. Fortunately, there are methods and processes to  fact-checking, including this kit.

📰 The first information we receive on a topic is likely to stick with us, as is information we repeatedly hear. This piece illustrates this effect and makes the case for a weekly newspaper - what doesn’t survive “probably isn’t worth reading about anyway”.

⛔️ Media literacy and cues have an important part to play in spotting misinformation online. This article recommends that journalists and big tech companies should take note.

🧐 News organisations like the New York Times use AI to flag hate speech in comments for human review. Whilst there are still problems in its application, new research details where each system fails - and where it can be improved. 

🤼 It is so easy to fall into information silos and receive partisan news. This piece from Wired describes how people in the US are seeking a wider diversity of news sources by going to sites such as: AllSides, the FlipSide, Ground News and Divided We Fall.

💻 Watch the FT’s Future of News event on demand here - exploring themes such as: ‘Should regulators enforce a level playing field between news providers and tech platforms, and will interventions on free expressions help or hurt society?’

🤖 LSE’s media think-tank, Polis has explored what the future of news will be after Covid-19. They have a whole JournalismAI hub with free training on machine learning for journalists. 

📰 The AIJO Project looks into how we might leverage the power of AI to understand, identify and mitigate newsroom bias. 

🚨 One of the greatest concerns of our time, in relation to news and media, is the spread of misinformation. This piece discusses how digital tech may help combat this.

🥽 Head Set was created by two journalists to harness VR to develop trauma sensitive approaches for journalists and their work.

<Micro Tales>

News in tech for good:

📈 The Scale-Up Europe report brings together over 200 leading tech founders, inventors and researchers who set out how to take Europe’s tech ecosystem to the next level. Read it here.

⌚️ A Chicago-based pilot programme is testing a body sensor that monitors Covid-19 patients remotely - spotting symptoms before they become emergencies. 

🤝 The Plug and Fast Company look at data and first-person accounts to see if the lives of Black tech workers, users and citizens have really been altered by bold commitments companies made, in response to the race reckoning of 2020. 

💡 There is something quite life affirming about reading the Tech For Good solutions developed by 11-16 year old’s for the Longitude Explorer Prize, from Nesta and Amazon. 

🔟 Today marks the end of Circular Economy week. Check out this list of 10 UK-based circular businesses you need to know about.

🌳 Germany is home to the most climate techs in Europe and here Sifted lays out the 17 to watch.

🩺 How can we ensure the NHS continues to benefit from tech innovations, long after the pandemic? According to this article, mutual understanding is key. 

👊 Technology workers have begun to form unions distinct from the rest of their colleagues. They seek equity, fairness and better working conditions. 

🔐 The privacy tech sector is set to explode, as companies have been working out how to legally handle the increased personal data in their possession, as Covid-19 increased the number of consumers online. 

📨 Mozilla and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have teamed up to urge Venmo to give users privacy control for their friend list. Co-sign their letter here, or read about their campaigns here.

The tech for good newsboard 📍

#Research, guide and communities:
  • Check out The Diversity and Inclusion toolkit from Tech Nation - providing actionable insights and guidance to help founders build diverse and inclusive companies. 

  • Catalyst has collated 617 free digital design assets you can reuse. Look at the types available and how to use them here.

  • Tech Zero is a group of innovative UK tech companies, working together to fight the climate crisis. Find out more, download the toolkit and join here.

  • On Purpose believes in putting purpose before profit. Check out their Associate and Pathfinder programmes. 

  • Work Daze provides a useful guide on what Mental Health Days are and how to make them work. 

  • Are you struggling to get your teammates to buy into your ideas? This  guide provides some practical suggestions for what you can do, and this article discusses how to communicate your vision for change.  

  • Rolling invitation for anyone interested in joining our Slack community. Connect with more than 270+ peers passionate about tech for good. 

#Opportunities & Funding:

If you have a funding challenge, grant opening, speaking gig or another opportunity that you want to share - let us know!

  • She Loves Tech is a global competition for women and technology. There is $50,000 for the winner. Apply by 31st July.

  • Impact Central are looking for startup founders with businesses that positively impact people or the planet, to apply for their September Accelerator Programme. Deadline is 30th June and early applications are strongly advised. 

  • Techstars Sustainability Challenge is open for applications until August 2nd. Their focus is on startups focused on working towards the goal of net zero. Find out more and apply here.

  • UK Social Enterprise Awards 2021 are open until 2nd July. There is a Tech for Good category for a social enterprise that uses technology to achieve social impact. Apply today.

  • MSDUK opened applications for start-ups and SMEs across the country to participate in their annual Innovation Challenge. They are looking to support ethnic minority entrepreneurs addressing five key challenge themes: Advanced Digital Solutions, Energy and Net Zero Carbon, Social Innovation, Healthcare & Wellbeing, Facilities & Smart Buildings. Apply by 30th June.

  • ThoughtWork’s new Social Change Lab will provide free technology advisory and development support for up to four not-for-profit organisations in the UK. Find out more and apply by 9th July here.

  • The Community Infrastructure Fund is a learning project which supports organisations to develop mutual aid infrastructure. It accepts proposals via the JustFund Portal. Find out more and apply by 15th July here.

  • Zinc are looking for founders as part of their Venture Builder programme focusing on how to ensure that every child and young person can develop and maintain good mental and emotional health. Apply by 25th June.

  • The On Deck Climate Tech Fellowship is a 10-week program for startup and climate experts looking to found, join, invest in, and advise climate tech companies. Deadline to apply is 20th June. 

  • Black-led charities and social enterprises working in communities across the UK can apply for a COVID-19 relief grant package of £5,000 or £12,500 with The Common Call Fund. Closing date 25th June.

  • The Social Venture Incubator from the University of Cambridge has expert business advice, training and networking for social ventures with a strong social mission at the core of their businesses. Find out more and Apply by 21st June

  • Tech Nation has a range of free growth programmes for giving companies the support, advice and connections needed to help them thrive. There are opportunities for early-stage founders to CEO’s for bigger companies, so explore which programme is right for you.  Deadline 30th June. 

What’s going on? 📅

<Catch up>

  • Did you make it to Part 1 of our Open Source meetup with the brilliant Naomi Alexander Naidoo from Chayn? No worries if not you catch the recording here

< Happening next>
  • Part 2 of our Open Source meetups is happening on 24th June with CAST’s Head of Technology, Chris Thorpe. It’s another lunchtime session and you can register here!

  • Net Impact NYC’s Virtual Social Impact Week is coming up next week June 22-26th! The theme is ‘Thriving in Uncertainty’. Get your tickets here.

  • Catalyst are hosting a panel on how charities can put digital inclusion at the heart of their service delivery. Register for the event, taking place on 22nd June.

  • Join the Brighteye European Edtech Tour as it lands in the UK on 24th June. Register here.

  • Sifted/Talks are discussing “Last-mile delivery: What’s real and what’s hype?” on 23rd June. RSVP here.

  • “Pride, the Internet, and the Pandemic.” Join the virtual panel on June 22nd, hosted by Mozilla.


Want an event publicising? Add your event to our website! We’ll make sure to pop it in the next edition.

Working in tech for good 💼

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