In July 2019, before the pandemic, the UK and Canadian governments hosted the FCO Global Conference on Media Freedom,[v] where then BBC Director-General Tony Hall announced:
“Last month I convened, behind closed doors, a Trusted News Summit at the BBC, which brought together global tech platforms and publishers. The goal was to arrive at a practical set of actions we can take together, right now, to tackle the rise of misinformation and bias….I’m determined that we use that [BBC] unique reach and trusted voice to lead the way – to create a global alliance for integrity in news. We’re ready to do even more to help promote freedom and democracy worldwide.”[vi]
The initial Trusted News partners in attendance were the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Facebook, Financial Times, First Draft, Google, The Hindu, and The Wall Street Journal.
This was the embryonic start of a soon-to-become global media-wide Early Warning System that would rapidly alert members to “disinformation which threatens human life or disrupts democracy during elections.”[vii]