Connect with us

Newsletters & Updates

Research: Mapping the relationship between newsrooms and factchecking organizations

6 mins read

By Raji Rasaki

There is little or no debate as to whether information disorder has become endemic and efforts to catch up with its trendy pace need a multiple end-prong. An increasingly recommended approach involves the facilitation of partnerships between multiple stakeholders across industries. In Nigeria, existing literature has captured evidence of partnerships between fact-checking organisations and newsrooms, with a fallout of these partnerships being the favourable impact of capacity building initiatives on the skills development of Nigerian journalists.

Having established the fact that relationships exist between independent fact-checkers and newsrooms in Nigeria, there is a need to examine the growth prospects of such relationships. As such, this study adopts a quantitative research approach which seeks to leverage on the content analysis of the fact-checks published mainly on the websites of the selected news media within a period of six years: March 2015-September, 2020.

For ease of tracking the fact-checks, the study restricted the fact-checks search to only the online versions of the newspapers under review, using specific Keywords search such as “fact check, Nigeria”, “fact-checking”, “Cross-Check Nigeria, “Dubawa Nigeria”, “fact-checks in The Punch,” “fact-checks in The Guardian Nigeria,” “fact-checks in Nigerian Tribune”, “fact-checks in Daily Trust”, “fact-checks in Sahara Reporters”, “fact-checks in The Cable”, “fact-checks in Premium Times”.

Exploring google search engine with these keywords, a total of 132 fact-checks were tracked. For ease of inputting, sorting and analysing the data, a database was built, using google spreadsheet (see the link: Mapping Take-Up of Fact-Checking in the Nigerian Newsrooms); and to clean up the data, the identification of the relevant fact-checking articles in the selected media were determined by fulfilling certain parameters. By these criteria:

  • We included articles identified primarily as fact-checking reports that check and verify factual statements and claims with the aim of establishing the truthfulness, correctness or authenticity of the assertion based on verifiable facts (n=117);  
  •  We excluded fact-checks that were published on the newspapers’ social media platforms (n=6);
  • We excluded contents similar to fact-checking items published for the purpose of correcting editorial errors (n=4);
  • We also excluded fact-checks used or referenced in news format, features or opinions (n=5);
  • A total of 117 fact-checks were analysed for this study.

Meanwhile, the variables used for data collection were (i) yearly publication of fact-checks (ii) number of fact-checks published per news medium (iii) Quantity of contents shared by the news media iv) Sources of claims fact-checked, and (v) Thematic focus of the fact-checks.

(Read full research here)


#EndSars: Verifying Conflicting Tales in the Absence of Credible Evidence

Since the onset of the #EndSARS protest in Nigeria, the headlines of most media outlets have been preoccupied with diverse topics that relate to the protest. Even more practical is the center stage that social media has taken in popularizing the protest and its cause. As a result, multiple claims have emerged with conspicuous narratives and inspiring themes about the protest. 

The hashtag #ENDSARS is a movement that started on Twitter against the brutality of a special unit under the police force known as Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). SARS has been accused of unlawful arrest, torture, and murder of Nigerian Youth. 

For over two weeks, Dubawa has sought to verify public information in support or against the #EndSars movement. While we have been able to build an archive of true and false information (scroll down to see a list of #endsars-related factchecks), there’s still so much left unchecked. As we continue to publish factchecks, learning and being willing to question information in all its forms is now an essential skill for your survival!


FACT CHECKS OF THE WEEK 

A Facebook page with a little over 82,000 followers, published a message accompanied by a photo, saying the catholic bishops recently staged a prayer walk in solidarity with #EndSARS protesters. How true?

Senator Dino Melaye shared a photo of his G-Wagon SUV riddled with bullets at the back with Endsars written in the caption. Although the Senator did not mean to suggest the damage to his car was done…

Following the increasing number of casualties from the ongoing #EndSARS protest and reactions from different individuals and institutions, a viral WhatsApp video has come up with a claim that the Turkish president in a video insulted…


QandA

  • Why did Buhari omit the Lekki Shootings in his Thursday speech?

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, 22nd  of October, addressed Nigerians but his speech which was broadcasted 7 pm on Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) has been criticised for omitting the Tuesday shootings at Lekki, Lagos State.

Coming to the president’s defence was his Media Adviser, Femi Adeshina, who said, when he appeared on Channels Television on Friday, that Mr Buhari deliberately refused to make comments on Tuesday’s Lekki shootings because both the Lagos State government and Nigeria Defence Headquarters are yet to conclude their investigations on the matter.

  • Can the Nigerian flag prevent soldiers from shooting protesters?

A check by Dubawa shows that the Nigerian constitution and the Armed Forces Law do not have a provision that states holding a Nigerian Flag will prevent the Army from shooting.  Also, as evident in several social media videos from the Tuesday #EndSARS protest at Lekki, flags did not stop the Army from shooting at the peaceful protesters.

  • Does COVID-19 still exist in Nigeria?

With the recent activities of Nigerians – the #EndSARS movement and the current looting taking place across the country – many have wondered if the novel coronavirus still exists within the country’s borders. The truth is, COVID-19 still exists and new cases are still being recorded. As of 24th of October, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control recorded 48 new cases – (Lagos-18, FCT-13, Kaduna-6, Rivers-5, Ogun-5, Ondo-1). Please, take precaution.


What can you do? 

Be alert, share our tips and don’t share false news! 


Coronavirus infection count 

Note: Total cases may be more than officially stated owing to the inability to include unconfirmed cases. Stay safe!


Tip of the week 


#FakeNews Alert 

Although other news outlets have published this story, New Telegraph’s version of the news gave the value of all the donated books to be $180,000 and converted to be N5,763,523 which is wrong, considering the current dollar rate. We advise that while sourcing and consuming information, you pay close attention to details irrespective of the source’s integrity.

Dubawa has always advised to be sceptical of ’Breaking News’ especially when it’s from online blogs. Images like the one shown in this news report can easily be created by a meme generating website as shown in this fact check by Dubawa. To this end, before you share this news further, be sure to verify!


Other Fact-checks/Articles 

Strengthening Investigative Journalism for the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

More in Newsletters & Updates