West Africa’s verification and fact-checking platform, Dubawa, has concluded plans to induct twenty-six (26) fellows into its 2021 cohort of fact-checkers to combat misinformation in the sub-region.
The platform, under the aegis of the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), announced the commencement of the yearly fellowship in Abuja on Monday, May 17, 2021.
In a statement by Dubawa on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, the 2021 fellowship, which is the third of its kind, is christened ‘Kwame Karikari Fact-Checking and Research Fellowship’ in honour of a Ghanaian Professor, Kwame Karikari.
Twenty-six successful applicants drawn from over 200 applications in Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, The Gambia and Sierra Leone, will from Tuesday, May 18, 2021, undergo training that will equip them in combating the widespread regime of misinformation in the West African sub-region.
According to Dubawa Programme Manager, Mr Adedeji Adekunle, the participants will graduate into the six months in-country fellowship after completing a ten-course module, with evidence of competence.
Mr Adekunle said the training faculty for the programme are drawn from a pool of the leading global experts in the field of fact-checking who come with individual and organizational talents which includes Peter Cunliffe-Jones, founder of Africa Check, and current course co-Director/ Researcher at the University of Westminster in the United Kingdom; Youri van der Weide, Researcher and Trainer at the Global Investigative Organisation, Bellingcat; and Craig Silverman, Author, Trainer, and the Digital Editor, at BuzzFeed.
Others are Prof. Kwame Karikari, former professor, School of Communications, University of Ghana, Legon and Chairman of the Board of the Daily Graphic Newspaper in Accra; Dr Chido Onumah, Coordinator of the African Centre for Information and Media Literacy, AFRICMIL; Mr Kemi Busari, Editor of DUBAWA; Mr Adedeji Adekunle, DUBAWA Programme Manager; Ms Caroline Anipah, Ghana Programme Lead for DUBAWA; and Mr Dapo Olorunyomi, Executive Director for the PTCIJ.
Participants at the course will learn about the accountability journalism ecosystem in the sub-region; how to fix the current information disorder through legal, regulatory responses and through misinformation literacy.
Also, they will learn fact-checking methodology, skills and steps involved in fact-checking, ethics of journalism and fact-checking; data presentation and analysis for fact-checking, media literacy, monitoring and analysis of social media content and accounts; investigating websites, as well as freedom of information/ right to Information laws in West Africa and the verification of digital tools.
Named after Professor Kwame Karikari, redoubtable media freedom advocate and founder of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), the fellowship is inspired by the need to tackle the menace of mis- and dis-information within the sub-region and beyond.