Fact Macedonia: Online Media Resource to Counter Fake News in Macedonia

The media environment in Macedonia is populated by outlets managed by particular parties and ideologies, some funded by outside sources providing fake stories to influence opinion. The project was designed to counter those influences and involved creating an online media resource in Macedonian, Albanian and English (for the large Macedonian diaspora) with a social media component. The strategy was to design the platform to work like, and integrate with, popular social media platforms and to use social media influencers to move people discreetly to more objective news sources. The original project implementers were a cultural entity in Skopje with a large constituency and mailing list (80,000) of progressive young users. The project was to be self sustainable largely by selling space to advertisers while keeping it free for subscribers and encouraging them to sign up.

The Principal of Internaut Consulting was involved in the development of the platform, articulation of the influencer strategy and user requirements document in addition to developing the evaluation parameters for the IT firm contracted to develop the platform. In addition, Internaut Consulting worked with the implementers on the preliminary marketing and sustainability plan to influence users, advertisers and legitimate media outlets to sign up and use it.

While is country for the assignment above, Internaut Consulting was contracted separately to assist in the initial formation of a National ICT Strategy for Macedonia. In this context the Principal developed job descriptions for various project personnel, recommended some implementers for the project and researched the best in class examples of national ICT plan development strategy frameworks, existing national ICT plans and comparative reviews.

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