As the general election in Nigeria draws near, First Draft, a New York-based non-profit organisation that uses research-based methods to fight misinformation globally, has partnered with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) to train Nigerian journalists on how to address misinformation, fake news, and other information that can negatively impact the 2019 elections.
The two-day verification training aims to provide technical and digital support for journalists on verifying information in public domain.
The Mass Communication Department of the University of Lagos will be involved as a research partner to help test interventions and conduct computational research.
Speaking on the training, Dayo Aiyetan, Executive Director of ICIR, noted that journalists must always verify information by politicians.
He added that journalists must be well-equipped to fact-check the claims to avoid misleading the public.
“Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp have become avenues for politician to spread misinformation, rumour, falsehood and fake news,” he said. “Journalists need to learn the skills to verify and fact-check such misinformation and debunk them before they mislead people or cause harm.”
Aiyetan, however, stated that no newsroom could unilaterally curb circulation of fake news in Nigeria.
jenni Sargent, Managing Director of First Draft, reiterated the commitment of her organisation to training training Nigerian journalists on how best to use technology in verifying information and curbing misinformation before it circulates.
She said First Draft had developed a technology targeted at verifying information and it has already been put to use in France and Brazil.
Media houses involved in the Nigerian Verification Project include SaharaReporters, Daily Trust, The Guardian, Punch, The Sun, Tribune and The Nation. Others are Channels Television, Premium Times, The Cable, ICIR, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Africa Check, AFP and West Africa Service.
ICIR and First Draft will launch a CrossCheck platform on Wednesday.
SOURCE :sahara reporters (news)