In a bid to enhance media integrity and accuracy in West Africa, the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) has collaborated with the Google News Initiative (GNI) to launch an ambitious training program.
Designed explicitly for journalists in non-urban communities across Nigeria, Ghana, and Liberia, this initiative seeks to equip them with essential skills in digital verification and fact-checking – two vital pillars of modern journalism.
The collaboration, unveiled by CJID’s Dubawa project, promises to play a pivotal role in enhancing journalistic standards within these regions and fostering a more robust and trustworthy media landscape.
Highlighting the significance and scope of this program, Caroline Anipah, the Deputy Director in charge of Verification and Media Literacy Practice, shared, “Often, such training programmes are designed for journalists in city centres, neglecting those in non-urban communities. However, this partnership is different.
“At DUBAWA, we believe every journalist, especially those confronted with challenges of misinformation, should be equipped with the necessary skills to counter fake news effectively and, above all, to foster a well-informed citizenry. This is the essence of this project,” she expressed.
The training program, set to commence soon, will encompass a range of modules and workshops aimed at improving the digital verification and fact-checking skills of participating journalists.
Vincent Ryan, EMEA Partnerships Manager at Google, remarked, “In an era where information is both a tool and a weapon, news verification and fact-checking have never been more paramount.
“Through our collaboration with DUBAWA, the Google News Initiative is deeply committed to fortifying the journalistic community in West Africa with robust verification tools and strategies.
“Together, we are laying the bedrock for a future where every news piece is accurate and trustworthy.”
Akintunde Babatunde, Director of Programmes at CJID, extended his appreciation to the team at Google for the collaboration with DUBAWA.
Mr Babatunde said, “This new partnership has validated the terrific work happening at CJID/DUBAWA over the years.
“Our mandate has always been to positively disrupt the media ecosystem in West Africa to ensure a vibrant and independent media society.
“With this support, which will further extend the frontiers of our capacity-building initiatives, we are excited about an opportunity to support journalists and fact-checkers in these countries.”
In a world where over 70% of internet users across nations have inadvertently been exposed to misinformation, the significance of initiatives such as this becomes magnified.
For countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and The Gambia, the foundation of reliable journalism serves not merely as a source of credible information but as a bastion of democracy, reinforcing the integrity of news and upholding the principles upon which informed societies stand.