The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year for 2016 was “post-truth”, which spiked in frequency of use at the time of the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom (UK) and Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States. In post-truth politics, there is a reliance by politicians “on assertions that “feel true” but have no basis in fact.”
With this in mind, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) is launching a new #FactsMatter campaign for the 2017 UK election, “to promote the need for evidence-based decision-making as a foundation of a strong, inclusive and democratic society.”
CILIP Chair Karen McFarlane states that:
In light of recent concerns about fake news and misinformation it has never been more important for politicians and public figures to show leadership by making a stand for facts and evidence.
#FactsMatter is an opportunity to strengthen public trust in our institutions and to highlight the need for better evidence, supported by trained and qualified information professionals.
The campaign has three phases:
- Following the election announcement, CILIP has written to every political party to provide a high-level briefing about the impact of the information profession and to invite them to include three key commitments in their election manifesto.
- CILIP will launch #FactsMatter on 1 May, focused on securing a commitment from all political parties to run evidence-based campaigns.
- After the election, #FactsMatter will transition into an ongoing activity, highlighting the role of information professionals in unlocking the value of information assets, developing information literacy, and providing decision-ready information.
Should #FactsMatter expand?
Should information and knowledge management organisations in other countries and regions also be initiating #FactsMatter campaigns, as part of a greater advocacy role by the profession?
Also published on Medium.