Brazil Launches ‘Foolitzer Prizes’ Award for Worst Fake News of the Year
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Prizes developed by E-farsas and Leo Burnett Tailor Made will be given to the worst false news, underscoring the sites that spread misinformation
The theme "fake news" took centre stage in 2018 in Brazil, where it figured prominently. The elections and reports on manipulation, misuse of data, and different ways of distorting information helped to bring the issue even more out into the open. In the midst of so much controversy regarding fake news, the website E-farsas – literally “e-farces”, a site that has been operating in the country since 2002 and whose purpose is to debunk rumours circulating on the social networks – is launching The Foolitzer Prizes (an allusion to the famous The Pulitzer Prizes, which honours the best news stories in the world). It is a prize to acknowledge the worst fake news in 2018 and denounce news outlets that work to disseminate misinformation. Their intent is to give the creators of fake news what they don’t want: the spotlight.
In its first edition of The Foolitzer Prizes, E-farsas will curate and select the worst news stories in six different categories. They are:
• Gran Foolitzer.
"We do the job of checking the information and debunking a rumour even before it actually becomes 'fake news', but over the last couple of years we’ve noticed an increase in both output and consumption of fake news, which has greatly influenced the behaviour of Brazilians. Bringing together the worst is a way to show the public which news outlets fabricate fake news, either with malicious intent or simply seeking more hits," explains Gilmar Lopes, founder of E-farsas.
Developed in partnership with the advertising agency Leo Burnett, the award will reveal its nominees on the site. The winners will be chosen by the E-farce team, with the exception of the Gran Foolitzer category, which will have the participation of the public, who will use the website to vote for the worst fake news of 2018. The voting period begins on January 15, and the winners will be announced in early February.
To promote the award, Leo Burnett prepared a campaign with two distinct flights: the first, for divulging the award; the second, to reveal the "winners." The campaign includes extensive online material, as well as posters, promotional films and the awards ceremony, with all the nominees and their categories.
"We all have the responsibility to combat misinformation, because all of us, as interlocutors, must seek out the origin of the content we consume. We need to create a culture of questioning. We’ve created an anti-prize for anti-journalism. After all, what the creators of fake news least want is to be recognised on account of their lies," reinforces Wilson Mateos, creative VP for Leo Burnett.
The winners will receive an actual award from The Foolitzer Prizes as soon as the results are announced in February, an award which will be in the shape of a coin (just like the original Pulitzer Prize). The medal will feature the inscription "Worst Fake News of the Year 2018" with the E-farce logo.