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Africa Check, NIJ train journalists in fact-checking



Africa Check, a non-partisan, non-profit fact-checking organisation, in collaboration with the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), has trained 18 select mid-level journalists at a two-day fact-checking workshop to aid objective reporting in the forth-coming election.

The workshop, which held in Lagos, was sponsored by the United States Embassy in Nigeria and covered a range of master classes on research skills, data journalism and fact checking. These include fact-checking key claims, to spotting Internet hoaxes and doctored images, and working with data around crime, health, education, public opinion and other topics.

The participants were specifically trained on how to fact-check claims and promises made by politicians in preparation for the general elections in Nigeria coming up in 2019.

The Provost of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Gbemiga Ogunleye, who was represented by the institute’s Head of Department, General Studies, Dr. Dele Omojuyigbe, said the workshop could not have come at a better time in this era of disinformation, misinformation, alternative facts or outright fabrication.

“As journalists, we should be worried that our profession is fast losing public respect and trust as a result of publication or broadcast of fake news,” Ogunleye said.

He added that embracing fact checking is a return to the “good old ways of ethical and responsible journalism.”

The Managing Editor, Online and Social Publications, The Nation Newspaper, Lekan Otufodunrin, urged the participants to make the best use of the opportunity to add to their media skills.

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