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Ghana News

Journalists Trained in Fact-Checking and Reporting Techniques to Combat Disinformation and Improve Rural Development Reporting

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Ghanaian journalists from various regions have been trained in fact-checking methodology to combat disinformation and improve rural development reporting. The two-day workshop organised by Dubawa-Ghana and other collaborators aimed to equip participants with skills to identify fake news, verify sources, and incorporate data into their reporting.

According to Dr Aurelia Ayisi, a lecturer at the Department of Communication Studies, University of Ghana, fact-checking is essential in today’s era of information overload and fake news. She described fact-checking as the process of confirming the factual accuracy of a statement or piece of information, adding that a good report must be well researched, analytical, clear, coherent, and well-written.

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Dubawa-Ghana has developed a standard to guide the fact-checking of reports that includes; “title, claim, verdict, full text, verification, and conclusion.” The aim of this is to ensure consistency in fact-checking.

Dr Ayisi highlighted the endemic nature of information disorder and called for media literacy and critical thinking skills to combat misinformation, disinformation, and mal-information. She emphasised the need to educate people on how to identify and verify credible sources of information and to develop fact-checking skills to prevent the spread of false information.

In addition, Dr Theodora Dame Adjin-Tettey, another lecturer at the Department of Communication Studies, urged the media and the public to be wary of cyber security crimes. She warned that information requiring a password could be found on devices such as computers and mobile phones, and that people need to exercise caution to avoid becoming victims of fraudsters and kidnappers.

For the most part, media representatives from various outlets left the workshop equipped with new strategies to better serve their communities and provide accurate and reliable news. The training is expected to improve the quality of journalism and increase public trust in the media.

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