AW Free Foundation in partnership with FactSpace West Africa has trained Togolese journalists on fact-checking techniques and tools.
The workshop was held in the Togolese capital, Lome, on November 22 as part of AW Free Foundation’s media development initiative to impart knowledge of best practices to help improve media systems.
“The weaponization of misinformation has grown to become one of the major threats confronting the world. It goes without saying that due to low digital literacy on the continent, many African countries stand at greater risk. It is for this reason we’re committed to building the capacity of as many Africans to help in fighting bad information. More so, we need journalists to ensure false information does not trickle into their news reports and this training seeks to achieve just that,” said Rabiu Alhassan, the Director of FactSpace West Africa led the training.
The journalists were taken through the fact-checking processes including identifying claims; verification of information; presentation of facts; diversification of sources and putting together fact-check reports among others.
“Francophone Africa has its own peculiar challenges which provide a fertile ground for the production and consumption of fake news. This training series initiated by our foundation will help journalists in the region to understand how the problem of fake news and cyber-propaganda evolution and manifestation have been closely linked with the rise of populist politics, digital capitalism, etc., and how to combat the phenomenon. The training will also help bridge the existing gap in the news fact-checking cycle, which is much needed to enhance professional and ethical journalism,” said Executive Director of AW Free Foundation, Emmanuel Agbenonwossi.
Editor-in-Chief of the AfricaWeb group, Ismail Akwei, also took the journalists through the digital products created by the media group to democratize journalism and empower content creators.
“AfricaWeb built the GhanaWeb Reporter for its Ghana platform to entrench the freedom of speech enjoyed in the country. We are looking forward to introducing the Reporter to Cameroon, Tanzania, and Nigeria where anyone can freely express themselves and keep their communities informed while they earn income from the revenue generated from their content,” explained Ismail Akwei.
In March 2022, FactSpace West Africa, one of the leading fact-checking organizations in Africa, entered into a partnership with AW Free Foundation to expand the fight against misinformation, disinformation, fake news, and propaganda across Africa.
AW Free Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by AfricaWeb, one of the biggest publishers in Africa operating in Ghana (ghanaweb.com), Cameroon (camerounweb.com), Nigeria (mynigeria.com), Tanzania (tanzaniaweb.com) and Togo among other African countries.
The partnership is expected to leverage on AfricaWeb’s reach of 4 million multilingual visitors per month across three regions of Africa and its wide network of multilingual journalists to verify, fact-check, and widely publish verified information in multiple languages across Africa.
Among other activities, FactSpace West Africa and AW Free Foundation would organize fact-checking training for journalists, whistleblowers, CSOs, and the general public to develop their fact-checking skills. The training in Togo is in fulfillment of the partnership.
FactSpace West Africa and AW Free Foundation look forward to training thousands of fact-checkers in Africa and consistently fact-checking and verifying information in multiple African languages.