USAID Mission Director Kathryn Stevens has said the role of media is more important than ever amid growing surge of false information intended to mislead the public.

"People need trusted, credible sources of information and USAID supports Bangladeshi reporters in this endeavor," she said.

Stevens said there are so many sources of information in today's world, whether through traditional media, or social media -- with a growing surge of false information intended to mislead the public.

She was addressing a workshop for the Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) that focused on enhancing constructive development reporting and countering misinformation.

The United States Agency for International Development Agency (USAID) organised the workshop on September 29.

The training session featured guest presenters including former Bangladesh Ambassador and Foreign Secretary Md. Touhid Hossain, Roving Asia Editor of the Global Investigative Journalism Network Miraj Ahmed Chowdhury, and Aaron Sharockman, Executive Director of U.S.-based media fact-checking organization PolitiFact.

Each presenter focused on a central theme of constructive reporting and the media's role in countering misinformation in today's digital and social media landscape.

Participating reporters discussed issues, challenges, and opportunities for the Bangladesh media to play a greater role in helping the public identify inaccurate reporting or misinformation.

Through these workshops, USAID provides opportunities for Bangladeshi journalists to better understand key development issues in health, agriculture, climate change, and other areas to enhance their knowledge and inform the public about socioeconomic development issues.

The U.S. government, through USAID, has provided more than $8 billion in development assistance to Bangladesh since its independence.

Last year alone, USAID provided over $200 million to improve people's lives in Bangladesh through programs to improve health and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, expand food security and economic opportunity, promote democratic institutions and practices, protect the environment, and increase resilience to climate change.

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