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IPC trains journalists how to combat fake news

By Boluwatife Akinola

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The International Press Centre (IPC) Nigeria has stressed the importance of fact-checking and accuracy in reporting.

This is just as journalists were charged to hold leaders accountable, even after elections.

The Executive Director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade gave the charge at a two-day workshop organised by the IPC and European Union for Southwest journalists in Akure.

The workshop with the theme: “Credible Elections and Democratic Governance,”was aimed at helping journalists combat information disorder in democratic governance reporting, using fact-check and FOI tools.

Arogundade said that the challenges of disinformation and misinformation by whatever form made fact-check imperative.

He said that social media enabled people to generate misinformation easily, spread it rapidly, do so anonymously and decentralise it.

Arogundade defined  misinformation as sharing of false information without knowing it, amounting to false or suspicion which could be false-rumours, insults or pranks.

He said disinformation was concoction of untrue news and the sharing of such news with the knowledge that they were false.

He said fact-check was a scrupulous analysis driven by one basic question – “how do we know that?,” noting that fact-check is not a spell-check”

Arogundade, however, urged journalists to always ensure that they use the knowledge gained from the workshop to combat misinformation, disinformation and malinformation in the society.

Also speaking during the training, the Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian, Martins Oloja, who was one of the facilitators at the training, encouraged journalists not to relent in reporting key issues and holding politicians accountable for their promise to the people.

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Oloja said, “These are issues in democracy and these are the issues that affect our development. We in the media need to note that it is our responsibility to monitor governance and it is our responsibility to hold these people to account for some of those performance indicators as matters arising from the budgets.”

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