Journalists trained on fact-checking 

A two-day training workshop to equip journalists with the skills to fact-check information and countering misinformation before publication was held in Accra last week.

The workshop, organised by Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) with funding from the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, UK brought together 26 journalists from Western, Central and Greater Accra regions.

Participants went through the various forms of misinformation, disinformation and mal-information and how to sanitise the information space due to the pervasive information disorder.

In a welcome address, the programme Manager for the Media and Good Governance, Abigail Larbi said the training was part of efforts to increase knowledge and awareness about the phenomenon of disinformation and its impact on democratic governance in Ghana.

She explained that the training has two components, with the first part exposing participants to concepts such as information disorder, fake news, Mis-disinformation, how they manifest as well as their impact on peace and democratic governance.

In the second component, participants went through some fact-checking tools to help identify and counter misinformation.

A Senior lecturer at the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon, and a facilitator at the training, Dr. Gilbert Tietaah, said the scale of misinformation being circulated had increased in recent times following growing technology and dynamism in journalism.

He therefore urged journalists to be circumspect in their reportage by fact-checking information in all spheres especially before publication.

For his part, the Lead of Fact Check Ghana, Kweku Krobea Asante took the journalists through the most important contemporary tools used for fact-checking and verification.

He guided participants in creating fact-checked investigations, news, and reports. The participants had a chance to discuss specific ideas for creating accurate content and got familiar with precise sources to use in their production.

He explained that Fact-checking is the process of checking the accuracy of the information before publishing the story followed by checking the statements of certain actors.

“Fact-checking is part of journalists’ work. You as a journalist can be a fact-checker and a fact-checker can be a journalist. But the process of fact-checking is constantly trying to question the information that you have received or that you have heard and trying to find relevant sources either to confirm or debunk that information,” he said.

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