20 March, 2019

Specialised Training for Journalists and Communication Experts at IGCF 2019

Two workshops address fake news, adoption of AR and VR technologies and utilising behavioural science in policy-making

During the ENEX Workshop.

During the ENEX Workshop.


Sharjah’s International Government Communication Forum (IGCF 2019) held workshops on its first day (March 20) aimed at developing the skills and expertise of government communication employees, journalists and media figures in the country in specific fields connected with the forum’s eighth edition theme: ‘Behavioural Change Towards Human Development’.

The workshops were held in collaboration with Enex and UK’s Behavioural Insights Team (BIT).

The first one titled ‘Applying Behavioural Insights to Government Communications’  introduced participants to key concepts in behavioural science and ways to utilise them in their line of work, developing an understanding of how to conduct RCTs (randomised controlled trials), and imparting other useful evaluation techniques. The event was facilitated by the Behavioural Insights Team from UK.


During the workshop, participants had the opportunity to discover potential barriers to behaviour change through hands-on training, and practiced assessing the feasibility and evaluability of new ideas before they are implemented.  They also took part in brainstorming sessions with participants from other policy areas to bring a fresh perspective to their policy problem.

The other workshop, held as part of ‘Enex News Hub Experience’, was open to journalists and photographers. The workshop addressed three core themes: ‘fake news’, mobile journalism ‘MOJO’, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies.

Through a simulation of an ‘Enex News Centre’, participants learned how governments and news organisations can verify the credibility of stories circulating on social media and digital outlets. They also learned how to use their smartphones and digital devices to write, edit and publish content.

“In today’s session, we took a look at how journalists can effectively verify
user-generated content shared on social media,” said Andreas Gruel from infoNetwork GmbH, who conducted the workshop ‘Fake News – Keep Calm & Verify’ in collaboration with Enex. He added: “Broadcasting false information is a common occurrence and it is important to be aware of how to tackle this. No matter where you are in the world, social media is the same and everyone benefits from being aware of false information. False news can spread far and wide, so we should always take a second look, read and think about what we are sharing.”

The third workshop tackled how AR and VR technologies might disrupt the media landscape and also be leveraged in the future.

Andrew Hawken, Co-Founder and CEO of Mesmerise, said, “AR and VR technologies will have a huge impact on the future distribution of information. From a media perspective, we can use VR to impart knowledge in a highly immersive manner.  With AR, physical and printed material can come to life through videos, models and other forms of creative visualisations.” Andrew, in conjunction with Enex, held a workshop entitled ‘AR and VR –AR You Ready?’ during the event.

Organised by the International Government Communication Centre (IGCC), IGCF 2019 is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. The two-day event held at Expo Centre Sharjah runs under the theme ‘Behavioural Change Towards Human Development’, and has brought together prominent figures, top officials, thought leaders and government communication experts from around the world to discuss and explore international best practices.


© Press Release 2019

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