CILIP announces ‘Facts Matter’ campaign for 2017 General Election

Polling station by Mark Fowler

CILIP has announced the launch of ‘#FactsMatter’, a new campaign to lobby all political parties to recognise the vital role of facts and evidence in public life.

#FactsMatter will launch on the 1st May and run concurrently with the 2017 General Election campaign. Throughout the campaign, CILIP will call on politicians and public figures to promote the need for evidence-based decision-making as a foundation of a strong, inclusive and democratic society. 

Speaking about the campaign, CILIP Chair Karen McFarlane commented, “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 will enlist the support of the profession, encouraging librarians, information and knowledge managers and data professionals to share examples of how they deliver quality information and evidence to support their organisation, company or community. 

What will the campaign involve?

Throughout the General Election campaign, CILIP, in partnership with the Information Literacy Group and others will be calling on all political parties – UK wide and in the devolved nations – to commit to a public declaration that ‘Facts Matter’. 

There are 3 phases to the campaign: 

  • Phase 1:     Since the General Election was announced, CILIP has written to the National Executive Committees of every political party to provide a high-level briefing about the impact of the information profession and to invite them to include 3 key commitments in their Manifesto. We will be engaging with our political supporters to secure visible support for the profession in policy priorities with a specific emphasis on health, learning, economic development, communities and the digital agenda. 
  • Phase 2:    CILIP will launch #FactsMatter, a UK-wide campaign supported by targeted action in each of the devolved nations, focused on securing a commitment from all political parties to run evidence-based campaigns. We will develop partnerships with other organisations involved in the fight to promote evidence as an essential requirement of a strong democracy.
  • Phase 3:     Post-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 across the public, private and 3rd sector and Government. 

How can I get involved?

We need every information professional to pick up the #FactsMatter message and share it with their community. From May 1st, we will be launching a campaign hub, including downloadable resources, graphics and case studies to support our key messages. 

We want you to use the #FactsMatter hashtag to share examples of facts that you have provided that have made a real difference to your company, community or organisation. 

What are the aims of the campaign?

The objectives of the #FactsMatter campaign are to:

•    Secure recognition of and commitment to support the interests of information professionals in Party Manifestos published as part of the 2017 General Election campaign and in the ongoing process of setting policy priorities;

•    Reinforce the role of evidence and information literacy in public and political life by securing and publicising commitments by key public figures and organisations;

•    Provide a platform for the long-term process of engaging employers and other stakeholders in the essential role of the information profession in combating fake news and misinformation and supporting evidence-based decision-making. 

References

Image reference: Polling Station by Mark Fowler via Flickr under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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