Deepak Adhikari on Fact-Checking to Curb Nepal’s Infodemic
PODS by PEIFebruary 21, 2023x

Deepak Adhikari on Fact-Checking to Curb Nepal’s Infodemic

In February 2020, just two months into the Covid-19 Pandemic, the World Health Organization announced another contagious threat to humans, an infodemic. They defined the phenomenon as ​​an excess of information, including false or misleading information, in digital and physical environments during a disease outbreak. Today, almost a year after the pandemic ceased, the infodemic persists. The global information system remains plagued by fervent misinformation that percolates and continues to intensify whatever outbreak it covers.

In this episode, Deepak and Khushi discuss the Nepali media landscape, particularly in light of the worldwide infodemic wherein dubious information is excessive. Deepak draws on his extensive background in journalism and fact-checking to discuss how Nepali media has evolved and the contemporary issues it faces as new digital media dominate its grounds. They discuss instances of deceptive and manipulative disinformation he discovered online during the recent elections and the pandemic and analyze how misinformation exacerbates sensitive subjects by intensifying people's reactions to them. The two end by exploring possible collective action to instill integrity in our media and garner vigilance in Nepali audiences.

Deepak is the editor of Nepal Check, an independent, non-partisan fact-checking platform. He was the editor of South Asia Check, Nepal’s first fact-checking outlet, and has worked as a correspondent for international news agencies like AFP, DPA, and Anadolu Agency. His work has appeared in major international publications such as the New York Times, The Guardian, Time, Al Jazeera, and Nikkei Asia. He currently focuses on innovations in fact-checking and digital investigation.

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