By Yusuf Akinpelu
Nigeria’s independent fact-checking platform, Dubawa, in Abuja on Friday graduated 22 fact-checking fellows selected from Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone in its 2020 fellowship.
According to the platform’s programme officer, Temilade Onilede, 28 fellows began the six-month fellowship, now in its second installation, but 22 of them met the criteria for graduation.
The fellows were sent forth at a dinner held in Abuja on Friday, where some fellows were awarded for their exploits during the programme which spanned from July 2020 to January 2021.
Initiated in 2019, the fellowship is one of the flagship programmes of Dubawa, a project under the auspices of the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), aimed at teaching newsrooms in new media platforms, radio and TV stations analytic, dedicated and innovative journalism to research and write truth-based and factual stories.
PREMIUM TIMES publisher, Dapo Olorunyomi, said the fellowship was inspired by the needing to tackle the menace of misinformation and disinformation in Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone and beyond. He added that it is the mandate of the programme to make fact-checking commonplace in the media space.
The editor of Dubawa, Kemi Busari, who took up the role in August 2020, commended the graduands, adding that the fellowship has brought “a lot of improvements in editing, in the writing of fellows and my interpersonal relationship. I must say I enjoyed the bit of every relationship with you all.”
He urged the fellows to continue fact-checking, and keep the torch of fact-checking burning by nurturing their colleagues who have not started.
Corroborating this, the PTCIJ programme manager, Tosin Alagbe, said “we are here to celebrate our second cohort of fellows whom we are incredibly proud of for their role in instituting the culture of fact-checking in their various newsrooms and producing media literacy and research work to enrich the existing body of knowledge about misinformation and disinformation in the region.”
Daily Trust reporter, Francis Iloani, clinched the best fellow award at the gala, in addition to emerging first runner-up in the Best Fact-check Award category with his piece: “Israel’s currency has Arabic inscription…Nigeria is not a secular state…” – Other claims by MURIC fact-checked”.
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Tip Of The Week
There’s precious little that we can do about the barrage of misinformation that we see daily, but there’s a lot we can do together if we learn to identify suspicious claims in the news and refrain from fuelling the fire by spreading them! Here are our top picks of likely-to-be-false news which [sadly] couldn’t be fact-checked.
- The Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN) has announced in a letter dated 19th February 2021 the commencement of a nationwide strike by all its members effective midnight Thursday 24th Feb 2021. – SOURCE: INSTAGRAM USER (thepepperwoman)
An Instagram User claimed that the AUFCDN has commenced a nationwide strike which translates to a potential scarcity of food. The user further advised readers to stock their houses with food while they await the consequences of the strike. While there is a possibility for this to be true, it also can be false. Hence, desist from further dissemination of this information as it is capable of evoking panic in the public. What you should do: look for similar reports on credible news platforms and do not share further till adequate verification has been achieved.
The Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN) has announced in a letter dated 19th February 2021 the commencement of a nationwide strike by all its members effective midnight Thursday 24th Feb 2021.
There are confirmed reports the strike has started in the North and trucks of cattle and foodstuff have been stopped. The effect of this should be felt down South by weekend if the strike continues.
While we hope and pray the concerned parties and authorities act fast to solve their issues and halt the strike . We strongly advise WE ALL STOCK UP OUR HOMES WITH FOOD AS MUCH AS OUR STORES AND FREEZERS CAN ACCOMMODATE.
Thanks for reading.
The Pepper Woman
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