Participants and Facilitators
Over fifteen Liberian journalists from online, print and electronic media are currently participating in a three-day Fact-Checking Media Training in Monrovia. The training is organized by the West African Fact-Checking initiative, DUBAWA, a project of the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) in partnership with The Stage Media- Liberia (TSM), the first Fact-Checking online media outlet in Liberia.
The three-day training is aimed at enhancing print the capacities of journalists on tracking Misinformation, disinformation, misinformation and rumours.
DUBAWA is a transnational verification and fact-checking platform, initiated by the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) in 2018.
It is an independent, transparent and non-partisan media institution and abides with the Code of Principles of the International Fact-checking Network (IFCN) to which it is a signatory.
One of the facilitators Oluwatosin Alagbe, PTCIJ Program Director told the trainees that they were fortunate to be in Liberia to support her Liberian counterpart (The Stage Media) to conduct the seminar on the global information crisis of misinformation and disinformation. including the challenges, they pose to democracy, electoral integrity, public health, and sound public policy in the country.
Mrs. Alagbe said the conference in collaboration with TSM, Liberia’s online first Fact-Checking platform, covers accountability journalism, theory and history of fact-checking, and the structure and ethics of the practice of journalism.
“Other skills trainees will acquire include: how to conduct a full-sized fact-checking exercise; how to identify best sources for fact-checking; how to use hypermedia confirmation gears for fact-checking and how to interpret data and understand numbers, Alagbe adds”.
She stated that the trainees from the programme will also learn how to use data and geolocation tools as well as the Freedom of Information Law to reinforce their fact-checking practice.
For his part, Liberia’s Deputy Information Minister Boakai Fofana at the occasion extended gratitude to The Stage Media -Liberia and the Premium Times Center for Investigative Journalism for organizing the training he termed as meaningful.
He said the introduction of digital media has made it extremely difficult to disseminate accurate information, thereby urging reporters to be professional and accurate in the discharge of their reportorial duties.
“ On behalf of the Minister of Information and the entire Ministry we appreciate the PTCIJ and her Liberian Partner, The Stage Media Liberia in enlightening the minds of journalists to discharge their duty in a patriot and credible manner, the introduction of this Fact-Checking program in this country will greatly help news-reporters in reporting accurately, Minister Fofana added”.
He furthered that in a move to give reporters an adequate and safe environment to operate, President George Manneh Weah in 2018 decriminalized speech offence, thus allowing broadcast, print, and online journalists to work freely without any intimation of the Liberia government.
Mr. Fofana then described the media as a key partner in the national development drive of Liberia, stating that the country will never move on the right trajectory without the effort of the media.
Given an overview of TSM Editor and Co-Partner Trokon Wrepue mentioned that the Stage Media (TSM) is a team of young Liberian journalists with investigative skills and fact-checking background and that these young journalists started their careers as volunteers with both Print and Broadcast Institutions and later got employed at different media institutions.
”They are awards winning journalists.” He stressed.
”TSM will disseminate information in the public interest through fact-checking and Investigative based journalism. Our objective is to do all we can to fight the dissemination of disinformation of content online and ensuring that we produce ethical accurate news information of human stories with high-quality coverage. We are an independent team and TSM has no political link.” Trokon said.
”Fact-checking is an important dimension of journalism that contributes to a healthy democracy of informed citizens. Fact-checking is an important dimension of journalism that contributes to a healthy democracy of informed citizens.”
In attendance were the Presidents of the Female Journalists Association of Liberia and the Reporters Association of Siatta Scott-Johnson and Cecelia J. Clarke respectively.