Nigeria

NGO trains journalists to check spread of fake news

Truth in journalism – piecing together the facts, vetting sources and connecting the details, is “hard” but it is more important now than ever because the effect of fake news is “harder”.

The Community Initiatives to Promote Peace (CIPP) project on Thursday trained journalists in Katsina state on conflict-sensitive journalism to check the spread of hate speech and fake news.

The project is being sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Speaking, the trainer, Dr Jide Jimoh, of the Department of Journalism, School of Communications, Lagos State University (LASU), urged journalists to promote balanced solution-oriented reporting.

Jimoh said that the call was necessary to reduce the spread of hate speech and fake news in their reportage so as to ensure peaceful coexistence in the country.

He said the project is a consortium of partners made up of Mercy Corps, African Radio Drama Association (ARDA), Communication Development and Pastoral Resolve (PARE).

Others, he said are Interfaith Mediation Centre (IMC) and Savannah Center for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD).

Jimoh said that the goal of the project was to enlighten communities on how to prevent violence and shun violent extremism by strengthening key skills and relationships in communities.

He further said that the project was to harness the role of women in peace building in conflict communities.

According to him, CIPP project activities included women critical discussion group, mediation trainings, dialogues, radio programmes, engagement with political leaders and training of journalists.

He said that the project was currently working in Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Plateau, Kogi and Benue States.

Newsmen report that the participants were drawn from broadcast, print and social media.

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