Twenty-two Liberian journalists drawn from the country’s print, broadcast and online press will begin a four-day training in fact-checking at the Murex Plaza and Suites in Monrovia Wednesday, 28 July, where Deputy Minister for Information, Boakai Fofana, will open the event with an address on “Stemming the Spread of Misinformation in Liberia to Advance Good Governance and Democracy.”
The training is organised by the West African fact-checking initiative, DUBAWA, a project of the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ).
“We are honoured and privileged to be in Liberia to support our peers in executing this training on the global information crisis of misinformation and disinformation, and the challenges they pose to democracy, electoral integrity, public health and sound public policy in the country,” said Oluwatosin Alagbe, the Programme Director of PTCIJ in a statement Tuesday from Monrovia.
Ms Alagbe said the training will be conducted in collaboration with The Stage Media, an indigenous Liberian fact-checking organisation, formed last year, and that the scope of the training will cover accountability journalism, theory and history of fact-checking, as well as the structure and ethics of the practice. Other skills trainees will acquire are: how to conduct a full-fledged fact-checking exercise; how to identify best sources for fact-checking; how to use multimedia verification tools for fact-checking and how to interpret data and understand numbers.
“We expect trainees from the programme to also learn how to use data and geolocation tools as well as the Freedom of Information Law to reinforce their fact checking practice,” said Ms Alagbe, adding that the leadership of the Liberian Press Union, the Female Journalist Association, the Centre for Media and Society, the Accountability Lab, civil society captains and a string of officials from the diplomatic community will grace the occasion.
Liberia’s media has a strong tradition of promoting accountability since the 1826 founding of the Liberian Herald by Charles Force but fact-checking is recent with Stage media, and an erstwhile leader in rural journalism, Local Voices, which incorporated fact-checking into its journalism earlier this year, helping to fight misinformation and promoting media literacy in the country.
Experts and facilitators that will conduct the training are Dapo Olorunyomi, the Executive Director, Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism; Malcolm Joseph, Executive Director, Center for Media Studies and Peacebuilding; Adedeji Adekunle, Director, DUBAWA and Caroline Anipah, Programmes Manager, DUBAWA Ghana.
DUBAWA is a transnational verification and fact-checking platform, initiated by the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) in 2018. It is independent, transparent and non-partisan and abides with the Code of Principles of the International Fact-checking Network (IFCN) to which it is a signatory.
Dubawa aims at instituting a culture of truth and verification in public discourse and journalism through strategic partnerships between the media, government, civil society organisations, technology giants and the public.
Since 2019, Dubawa has held successful annual fellowships for journalists, fact-checkers and researchers in The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone to equip fellows with skills in fact-checking and verification in combating the wide spread regime of misinformation in the West African sub-region and to also contribute to knowledge around information disorder in the subregion.
For more about Dubawa, visit dubawa.org and ghana.dubawa.org
Twitter: @DubawaNG @DubawaGH @DubawaSL
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