Claim: Social media users claim Global Times newspaper had reported that President Bio pledged a $200 million donation to the Haitian government to assist their earthquake victims.
Checks with the Global Times newspaper and their website show that the paper did not carry the story and front page on the alleged date.
A purported picture edition of The Global Times newspaper dated Thursday, 19th August 2021 and bearing a front page banner headline, “Pres. Bio Pledged To Donate. . .200 Million Dollars To The Haitian Government For Their Earthquake Victims” has been shared on several Facebook groups.
This has been met with mixed reactions on social media. Whilst some lamented the toll such a huge donation would have on Sierra Leone’s weak economy, others said the image is fake.
This claim came in the wake of a devastating 7.2-magnitude Earthquake that struck the Caribbean nation of Haiti with nearly 1.2 million people estimated to be affected. Several international organizations and governments around the World have responded by sending aid relief to the affected victims of the disaster since it struck on the 14th August, 2021 at 8:29 Haitian local time.
According to the Publisher of the Global Times, Sorie Fofanah, the viral front page banner headline image of the newspaper is fake, incorrect and completely different from what was actually published by the publisher and proprietor of the newspaper, on its edition of 19th August 2021.
The true edition of The Global Times NewsPaper edition of 19th August 2021 had the banner headline, “VP Juldeh Jalloh Hails Chief Minister.”
“The Global Times newsPaper did not have any document or voice record of the President Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio making such a claim and as a Journalist working with Global Times and a Dubawa trainee, I can authoritatively assert that such was not published by our outlet,” said Jane B Mansaray, a reporter at the newspaper.
“The headline on the fake edition of the Global Times newspaper is described to be disinformation, with deliberate intention to tarnish and smear the name and reputation of the Global Times Print Media in Sierra Leone,” she added.
The original publication, seen below, had a banner headline reporting that the Vice President, Dr. Juldeh Jalloh, commended the Chief Minister and not about any headline claiming a pledge made by President Bio to Haiti.
This can be further confirmed from The Global Times newspaper website to verify the stories covered by the newspaper on the said date.
Further checks with an attache at the Government’s Strategic Communications Unit, Abu Bakar Joe Sesay, revealed that the president did not pledge any such donation.
The Global Times newspaper did not publish a story of President Bio pledging any amount to Haiti. It is false and misleading.