FactSpace West Africa holds capacity building workshop for media practitioners

FactSpace West Africa, an NGO, in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has held a capacity-building workshop on fact-checking for journalists and media professionals.

It was also to introduce them to basic digital tools to tackle misinformation and disinformation.It was on the theme: “Adopting Local Perspectives to tackle the Weaponisation of Misinformation and Disinformation: Reflections by Newsrooms and Fact-Checking Desks across the Five Regions of Northern Ghana”. The participants included reporters, editors and managers of media houses drawn from the Northern, North East,  Upper West, and Upper East Regions.They were taken through conflict resolution, extremism reporting and fact-checking.Mr Rabiu Alhassan, West Africa Director and Team Lead, FactSpace West Africa, speaking during the day’s training in Tamale, said it was to empower participants with the tools and knowledge to detect truth from falsehood since the world was increasingly recording information disorder.He said fact-checking, conflict, and violent extremism were challenges that required collective attention and action adding the training would help in promoting peace, countering extremism, and fostering a more informed society.He emphasised that “In recent years, we have seen how misinformation and fake news can fuel conflicts and exacerbate violent extremism. We all witnessed the devastating impact of extremist attacks in neighbouring Burkina Faso with many victims seeking refuge in Ghana. It is, therefore, imperative that we equip ourselves with the tools and knowledge necessary to combat these threats effectively.”He urged the participants to commit to the principles of accuracy, integrity, and responsibility in reporting adding “Let us work together to build a more informed and resilient society; one that is capable of resisting the destructive influence of misinformation and violent extremism.Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, Northern Regional Minister, whose speech was read on his behalf, commended the partners for organising the training expressing optimism that it would complement the efforts of the government to combat misinformation and promote peace in the regions in the north.

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