DUBAWA Ghana, a fact-checking institution, in partnership with the United State Embassy of Ghana has held a two-day fact-checking training course for journalists in the central part of the country.
The journalists – who work in non-urban areas within the Bono, Bono East, Ahafo, Ashanti, Oti and Central Regions – numbering about 20 were carefully selected from media houses after applying for the training.
The two-day training centered on the fact-checking ‘information disorder’ widely known as ‘fake news’, and was to equip journalists with the requisite tools and techniques to fact-check information.
Journalists are really important in the information ecosystem, and so if they become complicit in sharing fake news it means that the credibility of journalists will be problematic in being able to fight information disorder.
Editor for Dubawa Ghana, Nathan Gadugah, speaking to the B&FT after the training said Dubawa took this initiative to help sanitise the information ecosystem – where most of the claims come from politicians, entrepreneurs and people who are in a position to disinform.
“There are a lot of information disorders or what people would normally call ‘fake news’, and this has become increasingly clear due to the social media age we are in.
“People churn out information from anywhere; some of this information may be true while others may be false and, largely, we have seen an increase in false information that spreads across society; and mostly people make decisions based on the information they receive.
“So, if the information is false, largely, what it means is that the action they take is based on false information.
“For this training especially, with support of the US Embassy in Ghana, we decided to focus our training on journalists within the non-urban areas. What we have done in the past is focus on journalists within the city centres, and we thought that this training is also crucial for our colleagues in the non-urban areas – to arm them, build their capacity in how to fact-check claims,” he stressed.
Mr. Gadugah furthermore noted that the trained journalists are expected to use the knowledge acquired to set up fact-checking desks within their various media houses.
By doing so, it will enhance the journalists’ credibility – and by extension the media houses they work with.