LOCAL milk product manufacturer Alaska Milk Corp. (AMC) has committed to direct its digital advertising expenditure to local news websites across the Philippines under a partnership with non-profit group Internews in a bid to counter disinformation.

The manufacturer said in a statement late Wednesday that the partnership is part of its efforts to invest “more sustainably” and to reduce spending in websites that “spread disinformation and hate speech.”

“AMC, with its mission of providing affordable quality nutrition and contributing to nation-building, has committed to direct digital advertising spend to trusted, local news websites across the Philippines,” the company said.

The manufacturer partnered with Internews’ Ads for News global program, which is done in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and GroupM. The program aims to provide ad support for trusted local news media organizations and to curb funds from inadvertently going to websites that publish “fake news.”

“To complement our mission which guides how we operate in the last 50 years, AMC is proud to be contributing to a healthy information environment through this partnership with Internews. This is our pledge to help all sectors not just in the food manufacturing but also in other sectors such as health, environment, livelihood, and food security,” AMC Managing Director Tarang Gupta said.

“AMC understands that nation-building is anchored on truth-telling and a work-in-progress. The prospects and effects of progressive nation building are enhanced considerably if members of the private sector, civil society and government find innovative ways to work harmoniously through partnerships such as this,” he added.

Locally, Ads for News has partnered with the Asian Center for Journalism to examine local news websites using quality journalism standards and the Global Alliance for Responsible Media brand safety and sustainability standards. The Makati Business Club is also a country partner in advocacy for the private sector.

“Trusted local news provides advertisers with greater reach into diverse consumer segments, and ad environments in which brands and their products are associated with quality content,” Ads for News Director Chris Hajecki said.

Internews supports independent media across 100 countries. The group trains journalists and digital rights practitioners, fights disinformation, and provides business expertise to help media outlets thrive financially. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave