Six Nigerians have been announced finalists of the 2020 African Fact-Checking Awards. They were announced alongside five other Africans from the pool of 192 entries received from 27 countries across the continent.
Africa Check, on Friday, revealed the finalists to include two fact-checkers from the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), Oluwadamilola Ojetunde and Olayinka Shehu, Taiwo Adebulu of The Cable, Mayowa Tijani of Agence France-Presse (AFP) in the working journalist category and Kehinde Ogunyale of Dubawa NG and Oluwaseye Ogunsanya of Peoples Check in the student journalist category.
Others in the working journalist category are Moussa Ngom, Aisha Abdool Karim and Peris Gachahi while Ogunyale and Ogunseye will battle Fatoumata Bintou Ba and Marième Fatou Drame in the student category.
While only one winner will emerge in each category, the only awards programme that honours journalism by Africa-based media will also honour one runner-up in each of the two categories.
The winner of the award for best fact-checking report by a working journalist will get a prize of $3,000, while the runner-up will be awarded $1,500. The winner of the award for best fact-checking report by a student journalist will get a prize of $2,000, and the runner-up $1,000.
The winners will be awarded at an awards ceremony that will take place on Thursday 22 October as part of this year’s virtual African Investigative Journalism Conference.
Africa Check, the organiser of the award stated on its website that the record number of entries received comes at a time where across the globe, the COVID-19 pandemic has ushered a flood of dangerous false information, adding that the World Health Organization says the outbreak has been accompanied by the so-called infodemic: “an overabundance of information – some accurate and some not – that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.”
“With health-related decisions sometimes being a matter of life or death, good fact-checking journalism is vital – now more than ever. The quality of information disseminated in public can determine the life outcomes of many and so it is the responsibility of the media to refrain from being conduits of misinformation,” says Noko Makgato, executive director at Africa Check.
“Each year we are seeing growing interest in fact-checking as evidenced by the number of organisations that have emerged focusing their efforts on debunking harmful claims in different parts of the continent. This, we believe, strengthens the quality of public debate and, hopefully, improves the quality of life across the continent,” it stated.
Fact-Check of the Year by a Working Journalist
- Moussa Ngom “Sur les traces des importations de déchets plastiques américains au Sénégal”
- Aisha Abdool Karim “The coronavirus ‘vaccine’ Ekurhuleni wants to import doesn’t exist”
- Oluwadamilola Ojetunde “Okonjo Iweala posts 2019 photo to justify sharing of COVID 19 relief materials in Rwanda”
- Olayinka Shehu “FACT CHECK: Does 5G pose a health risk to the human body?”
- Taiwo Adebulu “FACT CHECK: Nigeria told UN that 7 varsities run strictly on renewable energy, but is this true?”
- Peris Gachahi “Is This Photo Of The Free Food Being Distributed In Rwanda During Lockdown?”
- Mayowa Tijani “Presidential spokesman’s claim that malaria kills 822 Nigerians every day reflects estimates that are more than a decade old”
Fact-Check of the Year by a Student Journalist
- Fatoumata Bintou Ba “Fact-checking – « Inquiétant taux de divorce à THIÈS » ? De fausses données rapportées dans deux articles du quotidien « le Témoin »”
- Kehinde Ogunyale “Is Ogun State mobile laboratory first in Africa?”
- Oluwaseye Ogunsanya “Did Nigeria’s Minister Of Education Announce Resumption of Schools On September 7?”
- Marième Fatou Drame “Une organisation féministe publie des informations trompeuses sur les jeunes filles sénégalaises ( absentéisme scolaire, gestion des règles)”