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'Fact-checkers' proposed for Nobel peace prize

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    Agence France-Presse

Oslo, Norway   /   Fri, January 22, 2021   /   11:55 am
 'Fact-checkers' proposed for Nobel peace prize A bust of Alfred Nobel is pictured prior to the announcement of the winners of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, on October 5, 2020. (AFP/Jonathan Nackstrand)

With truth famously known as the "first casualty of war," a Norwegian parliamentarian announced Thursday that she is nominating "fact-checkers" for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

Announcing the nomination on Twitter, Trine Skei Grande, a former leader of Norway's Liberal Party, noted that "we  live in a time when fighting lies is so important that @JoeBiden mentioned it in his speech yesterday".

"This year, I have nominated fact checkers for the Nobel Peace Prize. They need our support," Skei Grande added.

Specifically, she proposed the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) for the famous peace prize.

The IFCN is a network of several dozen media and organisations -- including AFP -- active in fact-checking worldwide.

"It's such an overwhelming feeling of humility and pride" to be nominated for the Nobel, IFCN chief Baybars Orsek said in an email to the organisation's members.

In his inaugural speech on Wednesday, the new US President Joe Biden spoke of an "attack on democracy and on truth," and said citizens and "leaders" have a duty to "defend the truth and to defeat the lies."

Biden also spoke of a "painful lesson" from recent weeks and months saying "there are truths and there are lies," a rejection of his predecessor Donald Trump, who repeatedly disputed the results of the presidential election and popularised the expression "fake news" when speaking of media outlets.

According to its website, the IFCN currently brings together 79 certified organisations that have signed on to its code of principles.

In addition to AFP's fact-checking service, the Washington Post Fact Checker and Reuters are also signatories, as well as South African website Africa Check and fact-checking organisations in Asia and South America.

Tens of thousands of people, among them parliamentarians and ministers from all countries, former laureates and certain university professors, are eligible to submit a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Nobel Institute in Oslo accepts all valid nominations sent in before the January 31 deadline.

The 2021 Peace Prize winner will be announced in early October. Last year, the prestigious award went to the World Food Programme (WFP).