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Australian University Launches 360info, an ‘Antidote’ to False Information

Monash University, in Melbourne, Australia,  has launched an independent information service called 360info that, with the help of more than 75 international publishing outlets, will try to combat false information in the world.  

360info will operate as a global wire information agency for publishing and broadcast partners in the Asia-Pacific region. As a non-consumer-facing website, it will work as a media resource providing contextual, explanatory, and corrective information rather than breaking news, opinion, and commentary.

With the help of professional curators, the project aims to include the thinking, knowledge and research of universities across the region, to provide evidence-based content to newsrooms and publishers.

A Credible Information Source 

In a news release, Margaret Gardner, vice chancellor of Monash University, said 360info is “an innovative initiative developed by our university to provide a rich set of multi-faceted and research-based source material to news and media outlets.”

“By delivering content that is of the highest standard, and factually produced, I believe we can be an antidote to the world’s contested information landscape

Andrew Jaspan
Editor and director of 36info

“It is the aspiration of Monash that the increased availability of reliable and credible information informs public debate on the issues of importance to people around the world. The project closely aligns with our commitment to address the key global challenges of the age, including climate change, geopolitical security and fostering thriving communities.”

Andrew Jaspan, editor and director of 36info, thinks the project will help people be better-informed in a confusing world.

“I don’t like using words like ‘fake news and ‘post-truth,’ but we live in a world of contested information,” Jaspan told Al-Fanar Media. “The objective of those creating the contested information is to cause chaos so that people no longer know what to believe.”

Andrew Jaspan, editor and director of 36info
Andrew Jaspan, editor and director of 36info

He said he hoped 360info would provide the opposite. “By delivering content that is of the highest standard, and factually produced, I believe we can be an antidote to the world’s contested information landscape,” he said.

360info offers “high-grade, verified, and evidence-based content at no cost,” he added. Hopefully, this model can “sideline or replace the poor and polluted information that swamps our information ecosystem.”

An Asian-Pacific Network

With editorial offices in Jakarta, Delhi, and Melbourne, and another office to be opened in Kuala Lumpur this month, 360info is working toward a global approach.

The network hopes to build additional hubs around the world with universities in different regions. “We’re looking at having hubs in Osaka, Hong Kong, Nairobi, London, New York, and California,” Jaspan said. “Each one will have a team … but we’ll all work as one team so that we do not go down the national silo route.”

“It is the aspiration of Monash that the increased availability of reliable and credible information informs public debate on the issues of importance to people around the world

Margaret Gardner
Vice chancellor of Monash University

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Through its global partnerships with other universities and research institutes, Monash University will introduce 360info to a wide range of research partners.

A registration-only platform, 360info’s content is available free.

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By: Gilgamesh Nabeel

Gilgamesh is an Iraqi freelance writer and essayist based in Turkey. He writes essays and articles on Middle Eastern politics, education, art, literature and women’s rights. He writes for electronic magazines including Al Fanar Media, Hewar Mutamaddin “Civil Talk” and publishes book reviews in Iraqi newspapers. Some of his essays have appeared in USA Today and other American newspapers. He has active pages on Facebook on art, archaeology and global heritage. He carries has a degree from the Kasr Al Ainy school of medicine – Egypt.

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