DUBAWA (Ghana) has ended the first of three fact-checking training workshops for journalists in non-urban communities in Ghana.
The two-day training which took place in Tamale and ended on Thursday, October 13, 2020, brought together 20 journalists from the Northern and Upper Regions of Ghana.
It was organised by DUBAWA Ghana, the fact-checking arm of the Center for Journalism, Innovation and Development (CJID) and funded by the U.S Embassy in Ghana.
The project’s main objective is to train journalists outside the major cities of Ghana, who play a crucial role in the country’s development but are often neglected in media development efforts.
The project is in two parts: the first part is a fact-checking capacity-building workshop that will help 60 journalists (20 each from the Nothern, Middle, and Southern zones) in non-urban communities of Ghana acquire the needed skills to combat misinformation and disinformation.
With the Northern zone now over, the attention of the organisers and funders has shifted to the Middle and Southern zones for the remaining 40 journalists to be trained and to ensure that access to quality information for audiences across the country is enhanced. The two remaining workshops will take place in Kumasi and Accra and will draw participants from the Central and Southern zones of Ghana with the dates as follows:
- October 19 and 20, 2022, at the Royal Lamerta Hotel, Kumasi.
- October 24 and 25, 2022, at AG Hotels and Suites, Accra.
The second part of the training programme is a three-month-long mentorship program that will focus on nurturing the fact-checking skills of selected journalists and to assist them in establishing fact-checking desks in their media organisations.
With the Northern sector training over, the selection is underway for the mentorship programme.
(From left, Dr Abena Yeboah-Banin, Department of Communication Studies, UG; Joyce Asiedu, Press and Media Affairs, U.S. Embassy Ghana; Kevin Brosnahan, Press Attache, U.S. Embassy Ghana; Caroline Anipah, Dubawa Ghana Country Lead, Nathan Gadugah, Editor Dubawa Ghana; and Roselena Ahiable, Programme Officer, Dubawa Ghana.)
While delivering the opening remarks for the Northern sector training, Kevin Brosnahan, Press Attache at the U.S. Embassy Ghana, said that fact-checking forms part of the foundation for democracy because people need truth and facts to make electoral decisions. He added that it is essential that people living in non-urban areas have access to verified information to enhance their ability to effect better community policies.
Dr Tobi Oluwatola, Executive Director of the Center for Journalism Innovation and Development, welcomed participants, expressing his appreciation for their interest in learning and contributing to the fight against mis/disinformation in their organisations. He also underscored the need for journalists in non-urban areas to undertake this important project and incorporate fact-checking and verification desks in their newsrooms to ensure a sanitised information ecosystem.
The participants were taken through topics including, Understanding information disorder, actors and techniques of mis/disinformation; Verification and fact-checking: skills and steps involved; “Fake news” and the law, fact-checking and the right to information law.