ICFJ, influencers, newsrooms partner to combat misinformation in Nigeria

ICFJ, influencers, newsrooms partner to combat misinformation in Nigeria

As part of efforts to combat misinformation, the International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ) is partnering with five top digital influencers and fact checking organisations and newsrooms in Nigeria.

The project lead and ICFJ Knight Fellow, Hannah Ajakaiye, on Friday announced that the top digital influencers working on the project are investigative journalist, Fisayo Soyombo; social justice advocate, Mr Segun Awosanya (segalink); human right activist, Barr. Abdul Mahmud; Founder/CEO of Connected Development (CODE), Hamzat Lawal; and popular health influencer, Dr Fidelis Egemba (Aproko doctor).

Ajakaiye also revealed the fact-checking organisations and media outfits working on the project to include Africa Check, The Cable Newspapers, Dubawa (Premium Times Investigative Journalism Centre (PTCIJ), and the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

She said the partnership which is sponsored by ICFJ will amplify the reach of credible information by sharing fact-checks about COVID-19 and other critical issues published by media partners on social media platforms, adding that the collaboration will mitigate the virus of misinformation through multi-levelled approaches and methods.

Ajakaiye said: “Recent research shows that African audiences have low levels of trust in the media and are exposed to a high degree of misinformation and – often knowingly – contribute to its spread.

“With social media multiplying the risks of misinformation, disinformation, propaganda and hoaxes; we believe our collaboration with these leading influencers is a timely intervention that can help restore the diminishing level of trust in Nigeria’s local media whilst also reducing exposure to misinformation.”

Jerri Eddings, director of the ICFJ Knight Fellowship Programme, said the project is an opportunity for digital influencers to become verifiable sources of credible information to their online followers, adding that it would also empower citizens by providing them with accurate information to enable them to make informed decisions.

“ICFJ has worked for 35 years to empower journalists and media organizations to produce high-quality content that has positive impacts on their communities. We’re excited about this new project to work with journalists and social media influencers in Nigeria to combat misinformation, especially during this time when we are facing such a deadly global health challenge in COVID-19,” Eddings added.

• This report was first published by Media Career Development Network.



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