GNA journalist participates in Fact-Checking Fellowship

Mr Philip Tengzu, a Chief Reporter with the Wa office of the Ghana News Agency is among 30 journalists and media practitioners selected from five West African countries to participate in the sixth edition of the Kwame Karikari Fact-Checking Fellowship.

The 30 participating journalists and media practitioners of the fellowship, which spanned from March to August 2024, were drawn from Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and The Gambia.

DUBAWA, a West African independent verification and fact-checking project, an initiative of the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID), is organising the fellowship with support from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

It sought to amplify media literacy and empower journalists and media practitioners to champion information verification at the grassroots communities, which were targeted constituencies for political, social, and cultural misinformation and disinformation.

The six-month fellowship was preceded by a four-day intensive fellowship tra
ining to enable the participants appreciate the concept of fact-checking and information literacy before the commencement of the fellowship.

Some local language media practitioners and journalists also participated in the training.

Speaking at the opening of the four-day virtual training, Mr Dapo Olorunyomi, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CJID, indicated that journalists played a crucial role in promoting democracy, good governance and development in West Africa.

He advised the participants not to allow themselves to be used as agents for spreading misinformation and disinformation.

Mr Akintunde Babatunde, the Programme Director of CJID, explained that the fellowship started in 2019 with five fellows but had since churned out many fact-checkers through the fellowship over the past five years.

Aside from training journalists and media practitioners on fact-checking through the fellowship, DUBAWA also trained journalists and media practitioners in Nigeria and some other West African countries includi
ng Ghana to introduce them to the business of fact-checking and information verification.

Experienced fact-checkers and researchers took the participants through series of presentations during the four-day training.

Mr Idris Akinbajo, the Managing Editor of the Premium Times in Nigeria, who took the participants through ‘Accountability Journalism and the Role of the Media in West Africa’, explained that West African journalists ought to be concerned about the unstable democracy in the sub-region.

‘Journalism and democracy have a symbiotic relationship,’ he observed, indicating that independent and good journalism could only thrive in a state of democracy and good governance and vice versa.

The participants were also taken through topics including: ‘Understanding the Information Disorder Ecosystem’; ‘Media and Information Literacy (MIL) as a Response to Information Disorder’; ‘Fact-checking: Practice and Methodology’; ‘Claim Discovery’; and ‘Google Fact-checking Tools’ among others.

Source: Ghana News Ag