Africa Facts Summit 2022: Experts call for increased use of radio for media literacy

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FACT-CHECKERS in Africa have been urged to use radio broadcasts more for media literacy as part of strategies towards combating misinformation in the continent.

Some experts made the call on Wednesday at the opening of a 2-day international summit organised by the Africa Check at the United States International University (USIU) in Nairobi, Kenya.

The conference, which doubled as the 10-year anniversary of the Africa Check, also had in attendance fact-checkers, journalists, researchers, university scholars, students and representatives of tech platforms, among other stakeholders.

READ: Impact of ICIR‘s Countering Misinformation and Promoting Media Literacy project

In her opening remarks, the USIU Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Margee Ensign, reaffirmed research findings of how misinformation spread farther, and faster through social media.

She cited an instance in the United States, where about 86 per cent of adults in the States source their news from social media platforms.

“We know at least in the US that at least 86 per cent of adults get their news through social media.

“Misinformation during the pandemic led people to death. Right now, I believe it (misinformation) is undermining democracy in so many locations across the world,” she said.

Africa Facts Network

However, Ensign advised fact-checkers to further study misinformation patterns, especially through politics and collectively find a sustainable solution to combating the trend.

She reaffirmed the university’s commitment to finding more creative ways to keep supporting the drive to combat misinformation in the society.

“Let’s work together to improve digital literacy. We need to do more. Let’s fix the social media algorithm on this (fake news) problem, so the outcomes are evidence-based for the common good,” she said.

In his presentation titled: Reaching Audiences Online and Offline for Impact, the CEO of Nendo, Mark Kaigwa, emphasized the need to consider story reach rather than engagements when debunking fake news.

He rolled out other strategies such as the use of Facebook advertisements to push further debunked misinformation out for better reach.

Also speaking, The FactCheckHub‘s editor, Opeyemi Kehinde, highlighted the dynamics of becoming a verified member of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN).

“These three things are important to get enlisted as an IFCN signatory: Before starting your fact-checking operation, understand the five IFCN’s codes of principles; Set clear goals to abide by them when starting and Engage other fact-checking organisations to learn from them,” he said.

ALSO READ: Why media houses should set up fact-checking desks to counter fake news

While speaking on another session titled: “Show and Tell: Reaching Rural Audience,” Kehinde rolled out the use of radio broadcasts, and the translation of fact-checks in local languages as some of the moves deployed to combat misinformation and garner greater impacts.

Kehinde, who was joined by the IFCN Community Manager, Enock Nyariki, during the session, urged interested fact-checking organisations across the continent to ensure they meet the eligibility requirements set by the IFCN before applying to the global body for verification as a signatory.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE:

The main featured image was changed to those of participants at the Africa Facts Summit 2022 held in Nairobi, Kenya on Wednesday.

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