The International Centre for Investigative Reporting (The ICIR) has commenced a three-day training for select journalists from 30 media organisations in its “Countering Misinformation and Promoting Media Literacy in Nigeria Project.”
The training started in Abuja, the nation’s capital on Tuesday.
According to the project, supported by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, have its participants drawn from print, online and broadcast media from 30 organisations across the six geo-political zones of the country.
Through the project, the ICIR aims to advance combatting the dissemination and impact of misinformation in Nigeria by promoting media literacy and responsible information sharing among citizens.
In his opening remark, the executive director of the ICIR, Dayo Aiyetan who was represented by the FactCheckhub editor, Opeyemi Kehinde, said the fight against misinformation in Nigeria could not be won without the media, a reason why the organisation is training journalists for the task..
“Building the capacity of media professionals to counter misinformation and disinformation narratives via their various platforms is key to attaining the goal of The ICIR to encourage the public to imbibe the culture of fact-checking.
In his welcome address, the German Embassy’s First Secretary of Political Affairs Nigeria, Mathias Dold, highlighted the importance of Countering Misinformation and Promoting Media Literacy in Nigeria as a key component of democracy,” Aiyetan said.
“The EU Election Observation Mission concluded in its final report documented a large amount of misleading content allegedly produced by political camps and various individuals, regularly targeted actors across the political system.
“In addition, influential members of leading parties regularly spread unverified or even false information targeting the opponents, while critical reporting was at times also referred to as ‘fake news’ by some political actors. This worsened an already opaque information environment.”
The participants are expected to organise a step-down training for the members of their organisations after the training to inculcate the culture of fact-checking amongst the participating media organisations.