Centre for journalism innovation and development equips journalists with digital verification and fact-checking skills

The Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) through its fact-checking initiative DUBAWA in partnership with the Google News Initiative has organized a two-day digital verification and fact-checking workshop for some selected media practitioners in the Eastern Region.

The two days training workshop which was executed by Dubawa project was to build African newsrooms’ capacity in digital journalism skills, verification, and fact-checking journalism.

DUBAWA, a West African independent verification and fact-checking hub took the beneficiary Journalists through fact-checking techniques and how to deploy Google tools for general reporting.

Topics such as Understanding Information Disorder, Steps and Methodology of Fact-Checking, Digital Safety and Security among others were expertly presented by the various resource personalities including Dr. Aurelia Ayisi from the Department of Communication Studies of the University of Ghana, Augustine Brako, Fact-checker and Roselena Ahiable, Programme Officer, Dubawa

The rest of the resource personalities were lawyer Tanko Zakaria Musah, Legal Practitioner and Lecturer, Unimac-IJ, Nathan Gadugah and Mr. Nathaniel Kyere Bekoe, editor and Fact-Checker at DUBAWA respectively.

In her presentation, Dr. Aurelia Ayisi from the Department of Communication Studies of the University of Ghana who presented on Digital Safety and Security charged the participants to be conscious of their transactions on social media.

According to her, many people have consciously or unconsciously provided pieces of information about themselves to individuals or criminals through their various activities on social media.

To her, there is a thin line between real life and social media life since most of the things an individual undertake on social media are relatively the thoughts, location, and make-up of that individual in real life.

She disclosed that, social media life has contributed to some physical attacks, robberies among other social vices through the activities of the victims as they unconsciously send pictures containing their location, address, car numbers to their actors.

Touching on the topic “Understanding Information Disorder”, Mr. Nathaniel Kyere Bekoe averred that, the term fake news has over the years wrongly used since the particular piece of information put out there could not be entirely false but rather some section of it.

Mr. Bekoe entreated the general public and by large journalists to use the term information disorder with its components of misleading, disinformation and malformation instead of fake news.

He argued that, piece of information could not be entirely false but rather have either one or two of any of the components such as misleading, disinformation and malformation, hence it would be academically inappropriate to describe the entire piece of work as fake news.

On steps and methodology of facts-checking, an editor at DUBAWA Master Nathan Gadugah called on the media practitioners to jealously and religiously uphold the cardinal principles of journalism.

According to him, fact-checking is most important in the ecosystem of journalism and it is therefore imperative for media practitioners to act responsibly in checking and cross-checking pieces of information before reporting.

He indicated, there will be influx of negative and unsubstantiated pieces of news as the country prepares for this year’s elections, hence circumspection, fact-checking would be the most ingredients for media practitioners in order to avert confusion.

Lawyer Tanko Zakaria Musah, UNIMAC-GIJ, and Augustine Brako through the capacity-building impacted the knowledge of the journalists.

The Programme Officer at Dubawa madam Roselena Ahiable reiterated that DUBAWA is dedicated to promoting truth and verification within not only Ghanaian media ecosystem but the West Africa sub-region with its current presence in Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Gambia.

She continued that Dubawa’s mission statement is to institute a culture of truth and verification in public discourse and journalism through strategic partnerships between the media, government, civil society organizations, technology giants and the public.


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