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 17th May 2021.
Now in its third year, the 2021 fellowship is christened Kwame Karikari Fact-Checking and Research Fellowship in honour of Ghanaian Professor, Kwame Karikari.
Twenty-six (26) successful applicants, drawn from over 200 applications in The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, will from Tuesday, 18th May undergo training that will equip them in combating the widespread regime of misinformation in the West African sub-region.
“Upon completion and evidence of competence after a ten-course module the participants will graduate into the six months in-country fellowship,” Dubawa programme manager, Adedeji Adekunle, said in a statement.
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; Kemi Busari, Editor of DUBAWA; Deji Adekunle, DUBAWA Programme Manager; Caroline Anipah, Ghana Programme Lead for DUBAWA; and 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.
They will also learn fact-checking methodology, the 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.
The Nigerian Cohort of this fellowship is Supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
DUBAWA is an independent, transparent and non-partisan verification and fact-checking platform, initiated by the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) in 2018.
Dubawa aims at instituting a culture of truth and verification in public discourse and journalism through strategic partnerships between the media, government, civil society organisations, technology giants and the public.