Peak body proposed to lead national strategy to combat fake news

A recent senate committee report has supported a proposal from the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) to work with the Australian Government in developing a national strategy to combat misinformation and fake news.

This was one of the recommendations to come out of the final report into Nationhood, national identity and democracy, following a series of public hearings, where ALIA represented the Australian library and information sector, and spoke to issues around media literacy and copyright reform. 

The proposed strategy would be led by the Australian Media Literacy Alliance (AMLA), an initiative formed by ALIA in partnership with ABC Education other peak bodies in the Australian cultural sector, and would be facilitated by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Sue McKerracher, ALIA CEO, said ‘Libraries have long since acted as sources of trusted information. This role has only increased during the rise of fake news and misinformation. ALIA is proud to be a founder member of AMLA and, through the alliance, to help lead the way in tackling misinformation’.

The importance of national institutions, including libraries, was also highlighted in the report. Through ALIA’s submission it was noted that ‘libraries provide equity of access to current and historic materials; support family historians, scholars and academics; hold content in languages other than English; and promote cultural harmony and diversity’.

ALIA’s ongoing campaigning for copyright reform was also featured, with the senate committee supporting reforms that update copyright laws to simplify access to digital materials for schools, libraries and public institutions that support democracy.

The full inquiry report can be read on the Australian Government website.

About the Australian Library and Information Association

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) is the professional organisation for the Australian library and information services sector.

With 5,000 members across Australia, we provide the national voice of the profession in the development, promotion and delivery of quality library and information services, through leadership, advocacy and mutual support.

Contact: Sue McKerracher, CEO, | 02 6215 8215 

Wednesday 24 February 2021 2:00pm