The AMEC Award, a worldwide competition of media analysts, announced the 2021 winners. The Infomore.cz website, which is a joint project of the Faculty of Social Sciences (Charles University), the Faculty of Medicine (Masaryk University in Brno) and NEWTON Media, scored in the category focused on effective planning, research, and evaluation in communication. The winning team of analysts from academia and business has been monitoring the media coverage of the COVID-19 epidemic for almost a year and points out good and bad practices in disseminating information about the pandemic.
The awarded project led by Václav Moravec (an academic but also a presenter of a well‑known discussion programme on the Czech Television) seeks to reduce the so-called infodemic, i.e., the phenomenon of the excessive spread of inaccurate, misleading, or false news about the current COVID-19 pandemic, but also about other future epidemics. On the Infomore.cz website, the project highlights the cases of inappropriate use of data by journalists, ignorance of medical terminology, or the use of unsuitable examples and comparisons. In addition to quantitative and qualitative media analysis, an explanatory dictionary of terms related to COVID-19 is available on the website, including two animated series (a total of 12 episodes). The website also aims to guide journalists towards quality media coverage of the pandemic.
Within a few weeks since the launch of the project, the Infomore.cz website has been visited by 14,000 unique users who viewed 46,000 pages. These are great results given the primary target group of journalists, media professionals, and journalism students, who also prepare web articles about the latest studies related to COVID-19 previously published in world professional journals. „When this website was created a year ago as one of the main outputs of our interdisciplinary project, I had no idea how interested the professionals would be, including the prestigious AMEC Awards 2021. This is a wonderful acknowledgment not only for all colleagues within the Infomore.cz team but also for the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic and its support of applied research in the field of journalism and media,“ says Václav Moravec from the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University.
But the project supported by the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic has a secondary target group as well – the Infomore.cz website attempts to strengthen media and health literacy among the general public. The Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic or the Association of General Practitioners of the Czech Republic have both expressed interest in sharing the project knowledge base (a quarter of all members participated in a large month-long survey on infodemic in the Czech Republic). The National Health Information Portal also refers to the website.
The NEWTON Media team contributes to the project through analysis of traditional and social media. The analytics monitor what coronavirus news appear in the press, detect irregularities or disinformation, and map their spread through the Czech media landscape. “The COVID-19 pandemic is not only an absolutely unprecedented task for the media and journalists but also a responsibility, and the Infomore.cz website has proven to be an excellent tool for dealing with this challenge. However, non if it would be possible without the work of our analysts, experts, and the use of modern, up-to-date technologies such as artificial intelligence,“ says Petr Herian, founder and owner of NEWTON Media,” says Petr Herian, founder and owner of NEWTON Media.
In previous years of the AMEC Awards, NEWTON Media succeeded with the evaluation of the media image of the CNB’s foreign exchange intervention, with media audit for Tesco, and with media analysis for Ogilvy’s campaign to support the treatment of schizophrenia. In 2019, the analysis of gender equality in the news prepared by the subsidiary company Kliping Slovenia was also awarded. „We value every award from our professional organization because it provides us with feedback on the quality of our analyses. We continue to be the only company on the domestic media market that has ever received the AMEC Award, and our success in this prestigious competition is unique in the entire area of Central and South-eastern Europe. Personally, I am very pleased that we are winning with a project that brings together experts from the academic and commercial spheres this year,“ concludes Petr Herian.
The AMEC Awards are the highest possible award in the industry. More information about
the AMEC and the AMEC Awards can be found here.