The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) has entered a fact checking partnership with TheCable to combat misinformation around COVID-19.
Three other media platforms – Africa Check, Dubawa of Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) and the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) – are involved in the partnership.
In a statement on Friday, Hannah Ajakaiye, ICFJ Knight fellow, said the project is designed to amplify the reach of credible information by sharing fact-checks published by media partners on social media platforms.
She said a group of high-profile digital influencers are also involved in the project.
She listed the influencers as Segun Awosanya, rights activist better known as Segalink; Fisayo Soyombo, investigative journalist; Abdul Mahmud, human rights activist; Hamzat Lawal, grassroots campaigner; and Fidelis Egemba, health commentator better known as Aproko doctor.
“Recent research shows that African audiences have low levels of trust in the media and are exposed to a high degree of misinformation and – often knowingly – contribute to its spread,” Ajakaiye said in a statement.
“With social media multiplying the risks of misinformation, disinformation, propaganda and hoaxes, we believe our collaboration with these leading influencers is a timely intervention that can help restore the diminishing level of trust in Nigeria’s local media whilst also reducing exposure to misinformation.”
Jerri Eddings, director of the ICFJ Knight Fellowship Programme, said the project is an opportunity for digital influencers to become “verifiable sources of credible information to their online followers.”
“We’re excited about this new project to work with journalists and social media influencers in Nigeria to combat misinformation, especially during this time when we are facing such a deadly global health challenge in COVID-19,” Eddings said.