Radio Journalists thumb up for fact checking

Journalists at the training

About 27 fact-checking journalists from across Nigeria have emerged from the just concluded intensive training for staff from the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN).

The two-day training was conducted under the auspices of DUBAWA, a fact-checking and verification project of the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) and with the collaboration of FRCN.

Various cadres of journalists from the six geo-political zones in the country and the six zonal offices (Lagos, North-East, South-South, Kaduna, Ibadan and Enugu) in addition to the headquarters converged to be trained on the best methods for conducting comprehensive research on any national issue, how to interpret data and most importantly, how to conduct a full-fledged fact-checking in order to fight fake news.

At the opening ceremony, the Director, Head of News, Suleiman Sani, expressed his gratitude to the PTCIJ for conducting a training which he termed as apt and necessary for the socio-economic nation of this nation. He said, “fact-checking is necessary because we want to ensure that we sustain and maintain our credibility as the largest radio network in Africa.”

Mr. Sani also noted that the training would be beneficial to journalists because of its focus on curtailing fake news and how to ensure that sources are trustworthy, and especially because PREMIUM TIMES is “the first in online Journalism not only in Nigeria but also around the world”.

The Director General of FRCN, Mansur Liman, further thanked PTCIJ for initiating the training and urged journalists to go the extra mile while engaging in their journalistic practices as reporters are meant to distinguish rumours from the actual truth.

He also strongly urged journalists to be careful when disseminating information because what distinguishes a good journalist from a bad one is the extent of their verification.

In his remarks, the Executive Director of PTCIJ who doubles as the Publisher, PREMIUM TIMES, Dapo Olorunyomi, gave kudos to the leadership of FRCN for their continuous enthusiasm for the capacity development of reporters. He noted that PTCIJ and the fact-checking project, DUBAWA, emerged from the need for a new era journalism that reflects the peculiarities of the current age. He further stated that the crisis of trust, professionalism and poor funding of the media necessitated in the decision of PTCIJ to focus on innovating around storytelling, through research and capacity building initiatives.

At the end of the training, the participants declared that with the help of the fact-checking training, they feel empowered to respond to the wave of misinformation and disinformation that have become pervasive in the Nigerian political and policy corridor.

Many of the participants also proposed that fact checking is needed in every area of one’s life because people need to know the truth behind every news that is been disseminated.

The training ended on Tuesday, July 11.

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