By Sam Jones
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Ahead of the off-cycle governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states, the International Press Centre (IPC) has embarked on fact-checking and electoral information integrity training of journalists.
About 80 journalists drawn from the print, electronic and online media in the three states are being trained in order to aid the credibility of electoral information for the elections which will be held on November 11.
A statement signed by Olutoyin Ayoade, IPC Communications Officer, on Monday, said the “workshops kick-start the verify project of the International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos-Nigeria supported by the United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP).” https://sundiatapost.com/fidelity-bank-celebrates-international-womens-day-with-support-to-women-owned-businesses-girls-academy/
While journalists from Kogi State participated in the first leg of the training held in Abuja on October 27 and 28, a second batch from Bayelsa State is currently in Port Harcourt, Rivers State for the workshop.
Journalists from Imo State will have their training later in the week, the statement said.
According to the statement, the “focus of the presentations at the workshops are: The Art of questioning in Journalism & Being Detectives of Misinformation by Mr. Taiwo Obe, founder Journalism Clinic and Fact-checking of information to promote electoral integrity, by Mr. David Ajikobi, Nigerian Editor of Africa Check.
Other presentations are Combating Electoral Information Disorder or Fake News – the INEC Experience by Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman and The Dangers of Information Disorder or Fake News to Peace Building & Conflict Resolution by Dr. Emmanuel Mamman, Director of Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution at the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution.” https://sundiatapost.com/buharis-achievements-in-2021-full-text-of-lai-mohammeds-press-conference-2/
In his address to participants from Kogi and Bayelsa states, Mr. Matthew Alao, Team Lead, Governance, Peace and Security of UNDP Nigeria said electoral disinformation and fake news in general are major threats to the ability of citizens to have the right information during electoral processes and elections, therefore also constituting threats to democracy.
IPC’s Programme Manager, Mrs. Stella Nwofia also said the iVerify project is enabling IPC to continue with its mission of promoting good journalism through best practices in ensuring factual accuracy of news.
Nwofia said the objective of the training is to equip the journalists with the requisite skills and knowledge to enhance the integrity of information on the electoral processes in the respective states, especially the campaigns, the conduct of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and post-election democratic accountability and governance issues.
She explained that the workshops are also building the skill of the journalists on how to use fact-checking tools for the purpose of combating the menace of false information during the electioneering period while also introducing them to the workings of the iVerify system and their likely role.
Media professional organisations collaborating with IPC on the iVerify project and who nominated some of the participants include the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP), and the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ).
The statement disclosed that highlights of the workshops can be followed on IPC’s social media channels with the HASHTAG #VerifyBeforeYouShare.