“West African Journalists Encouraged to Champion Democracy and Accountability at Kwame Karikari Fellowship Training 2024”

By Muhammad Sani Muazu

West African journalists have been urged to play a crucial role in upholding democracy and ensuring good governance in the region.

A presentation titled ‘Accountability Journalism and the Role of the Media in West Africa’ emphasized the symbiotic relationship between journalism and democracy.

The managing editor of Premium Times, Idris Akinbajo, delivered the presentation at the commencement of the sixth edition of the Kwame Karikari Fact-checking Fellowship 2024.

The fellowship, supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), has brought together about 40 selected journalists from Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and the Gambia for six months of rigorous training and mentorship.

Among the selected journalists is Muhammad Sani Muazu, a correspondent for Albarka Radio in Bauchi state Nigeria, who reported that Idris Akinbajo highlighted the need for journalists to engage in investigative, interpretative, and enterprise journalism to hold power accountable and protect public interests.

Dapo Olorunyomi, the CEO of the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development, emphasized the importance of maintaining the gatekeeping role of journalism.

He advised the fellows to use the opportunity to equip themselves with the knowledge of becoming fact-checkers.

The program officer of Dubawa Amplifying Truth, Roselena Ahiable, stated that the fellows will receive hands-on technical training based on current realities and trends in the fact-checking world, with mentorship by the fact-checking team from DUBAWA.

Maxine Gloria Danso, the communication officer of Dubawa amplifying truth presented on understanding the information disorder ecosystem, emphasizing the need for journalists to correct misinformation.

Nathan Gadugah, an editor for Dubawa led a session on fact-checking practice and methodology, while Kritika Goel of Logically Facts discussed claim discovery, training participants on utilizing social media and other platforms to fact-check news accurately.