Fact checking:IPC trains Journalists on use of FOI tools.

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By Chinaza Osigwe, Awka

Practitioners in the field of journalism have been encouraged to make use of the freedom of information Act and fact checking tools in order to combat fake news.

This was emphasised in a training organised by the International Press Centre (IPC) in collaboration with the European Union (EU) held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The two- day capacity building workshop which spanned from February 21_22, 2024 had over 40 participants from different states present. The workshop was tagged “credible elections and Democratic Governance:Media capacity building series on combating information disorder”
The workshop aimed at impacting journalists with the basic knowledge for combating fake news and sharpening the practitioners knowledge on the reportage of gender issues was funded by the European Union (EU).

The Lead presenter, Mr. Lanre Arogunade , the Executive Director of IPC who spoke on “Fact checking :Pictures in our heads, good journalism and why fact checking and verification is important” advised journalists “to be careful with the pictures in their heads as it can affect your story”

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He encouraged journalists to eliminate their biases and make use of divergent and reliable Sources. He also said” Equip yourselves with fact checking tools, remember that the pictures in your head makes you turn opinions into facts and leads you to fall victims to deepfakes and generative AI even as a journalist.

Cross section of the participants.
Mr. Lanre Arogunade, Executive Director of IPC
Sanmi Afolabi, the project Manager.
Mr. Edetaen Ojo, the Executive Director of Media Rights, Lagos.

The second Key note speaker,Mr. Edetaen Ojo, the Executive Director of Media Rights, Lagos speaking on “Post Election Reporting:using FOI Act and other investigative methodologies to report democratic governance and electoral accountability issues” said journalists should use FOI tools to in writing their reports ,he advised them to use fact checking tools to verify their stories.

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He reminded the correspondents of their duty to humanity which includes enlightening the masses.

Mr.Ojo encouraged the use of Data in reporting as it “provides evidence to public understanding and informed decision making, also used to uncover trends patterns and insights that add context and depth to your stories”

“You can use some of these data sources in your stories, Academic institutions, scientific research, social media and online platforms”.

Furthermore, Dr. Titi Osuagwu from the University of Port Harcourt spoke on “Deepening research of gender issues in post Elections”. She tasked the journalists to avoid gendered language in their media reports whilst emphasising on the need for gender balance on reports.

” You can use interviews, observations, stenographic and investigative techniques to obtain your reports” She also emphasised on the need for gender complimentary roles instead of gender equality.

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Sanmi Afolabi, the project Manager Informed the correspondents that the two-day capacity building workshop was part of the activities under component 4(support to media) of the European Union support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EUDGN II) project, of which IPC is the lead partner.
The interactive session comprised of questions and answers by the participants followed by a practical exercise meant to boost up their skills.

In a post interview with the participants, most of them described the workshop as timely and very educative. Some of the Media houses present were, Odogwublog.com, Sun Newspaper, Radio Nigeria, News Echo, Golden Nation multimedia and a host of others.

1 thought on “Fact checking:IPC trains Journalists on use of FOI tools.

  1. The need for fact checking news has been a source of worry for journalists who are concerned about spreading genuine news only, hence the need for fact checking tools.

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