September 8 (Reuters) – The Wikimedia Foundation, which operates the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, announced Wednesday that it will award grants to six organizations working to overcome barriers to accessing quality information due to racial inequalities.
The nonprofit foundation also acknowledged that its own projects, including Wikipedia, presented a Western worldview of history and needed to do more to fill knowledge gaps.
The inaugural grants came from a new $ 4.5 million fund aimed at increasing the availability of free knowledge.
Wikimedia will donate $ 250,000 to Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ), a Jordan-based nonprofit organization that has trained and supported more than 3,000 journalists to produce investigative reporting in the region.
The grant will help ARIJ expand its reach and create a network for fact-checkers, who may not be fully equipped with legal or professional support, said Rawan Damen, ARIJ chief executive, in a statement. interview.
“We believe they will be as targeted in the future as journalists,” she said. “What we hope this grant will do is expand and guide journalists, but also include fact-checkers.”
InternetLab, a São Paulo-based legal and Internet research center, will use its $ 200,000 grant to create a two-year scholarship that will study the barriers that have kept blacks and indigenous people in Brazil from sharing and participating in knowledge. in line.
The researcher will explore questions such as to what extent black and indigenous communities are affected by online disinformation, said Mariana Valente, director of InternetLab, in an interview.
Other inaugural grant recipients include Howard University Law School and the Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice; Media Foundation for West Africa; SeRCH Foundation; and the Borealis Philanthropy Racial Equity in Journalism Fund.
Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas; Editing by Angus MacSwan
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