Fact-check Elections Trains UI Campus Journalists, Others on Fact-checking

By: Tijani Abdulkabeer

Fact-check Elections, a newly established media platform with a niche in fact checking, on Saturday, trained journalists in Ibadan on the rudiments of fact checking especially as it concerns politics and election matters.

The organizers expressed concern over the spread of misinformation and disinformation and how they may affect Nigeria’s general elections.

The one-day intensive training, which held at Damjay Hotels & Suities, Ikolaba, Ibadan had journalists from different news room, student journalists from the University of Ibadan and members of civil society organisations in attendance.

Participants were trained on various aspects of fact-checking, including identifying fake videos and images, using open source materials, and verifying claims around electoral activities.

Different sessions were effectively handled by facilitators, including, Lekan Otufodunrin,  Media Career Development Specialist; Lanre Olagunju, fact-check editor at TheCable newspaper; Zainab Sanni, Multimedia Journalist and Fact checker at Media Innovation Development; David Ajikobi, Nigeria Editor at Africa Check, and Lanre Olanrewaju, an investigative data journalist at Dataphyte.

The training is part of a series of projects by Fact-Check Elections, funded by the Karibu Foundation, in Norway.

The Associate Editor for Union of Campus Journalists (UCJ), University of Ibadan, Anuoluwapo Oke, explained that the training has exposed her to the various areas of fact checking and the necessary tools needed to be a good fact-checker. 

“Most people, journalists inclusive, need to realize that there are several Open Source Information (OSINT) that are being under-utilised. These sources can be used in fact-checking for correct dissemination of factual news over fake news,” she said.

Quadri Yahya, a participant from Platform Times Newspaper, said “My major takeaway is that, contrary to my earlier notion that fact-checkers only debunk fake news, I got to know that they are as important as a mental health specialist and security agency to the society because of the impact information disorder on our lives.”

While speaking, a reporter with UCJUI, Muiz Oyekola also expressed satisfaction at the presentation of each facilitator for the training, adding that the training has opened his eyes to the core values of fact-checking, and its importance in election reporting in Nigeria. 

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