New Telegraph

AW Free Foundation, FactSpace West Africa train Togolese journalists on fact-checking

AW Free Foundation in partnership with FactSpace West Africa has trained Togolese journalists on fact-checking techniques and tools.

The workshop was held in the Togolese capital, Lome as part of AW Free Foundation’s media development initiative to impart knowledge of best practices to help improve media systems. The journalists were taken through the fact-checking processes including identifying claims; verification of information; presentation of facts; diversification of sources and putting together fact-check reports among others.

The Executive Director of AW Free Foundation, Emmanuel Agbenonwossi, said; “Francophone Africa has its own peculiar challenges which provide a fertile ground for the production and consumption of fake news. This training series initiated by our foundation will help journalists in the region to understand how the problem of fake news and cyber-propaganda evolution and manifestation have been closely linked with the rise of populist politics, digital capitalism and how to combat the phenomenon.

‘‘The training will also help bridge the existing gap in the news fact-checking cycle, which is much needed to enhance professional and ethical journalism.”

Rabiu Alhassan, the Director of FactSpace West Africa, who led the training, said; “The weaponisation of misinformation has grown to become one of the major threats confronting the world. It goes without saying that due to low digital literacy on the continent many African countries stand at greater risk.

‘‘It is for this reason we’re committed to building the capacity of as many Africans to help in fighting bad information. More so, we need journalists to ensure false information does not trickle into their news reports and this training seeks to achieve just that.”

Editor-in-Chief of the AfricaWeb group, Ismail Akwei, also took the journalists through the digital products created by the media group to democratise journalism and empower content creators.

The partnership is expected to leverage on AfricaWeb’s reach of four million multi-lingual visitors per month across three regions of Africa and its wide network of multi-lingual journalists to verify, fact-check and widely publish verified information in multiple languages across Africa.

Among other activities, FactSpace West Africa and AW Free Foundation would organise fact-checking training for journalists, whistleblowers, CSOs and the general public to develop their fact-checking skills. The training in Togo is in fulfillment of the partnership.

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