Biden Administration Allocates $5.7 Million for ‘Trauma-Informed’ Support to Journalists

The Biden administration has approved a grant of $5.7 million to George Washington University. The purpose of the grant is to establish a program that provides psychological support to journalists who believe they are victims of misinformation-driven harassment campaigns.

The program, called Expert Voices Together, is a socio-technical system that offers real-time support to experts facing online harassment.

The primary objective of this project is to equip journalists and other experts with tools to monitor and report abuse. It also promises personalized assistance with digital safety and access to mental health care specialists as part of trauma-informed care.

This funding is not the first time George Washington University has received support for this project. In 2021, the National Science Foundation (NSF) allocated $749,222 to the university, and in 2022, an additional $5 million in taxpayer funds was provided.

The NSF justifies this expenditure as part of an effort to combat the rapid spread of misinformation and to address the impact of harassment on journalists and experts. They believe that harassment undermines trust in reliable sources of information and discourages expert participation in the information ecosystem.

The Poynter Institute has also played a role in administering a pilot program for this platform. They offered newsrooms $5,000 to test the service, provided they had already prioritized the safety and well-being of their staff.

While some journalists have spoken out about the harassment they face on social media, there have been instances where their actions have drawn criticism. Therefore, there is a debate about whether these resources should be allocated elsewhere.

This article appeared in StatesmanPost and has been published here with permission.

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Written by Western Reader

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