Crescent Varsity Don Bags 2020 Dubawa's Fact-checking Fellow, To Tackle Misinformation In Nigeria - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS

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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Crescent Varsity Don Bags 2020 Dubawa's Fact-checking Fellow, To Tackle Misinformation In Nigeria

Mr. Jamiu Folarin

ABEOKUTA - A scholar, who lectures in the department of Mass Communication, Crescent University, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Jamiu Folarin has been selected as Dubawa's Fact-checking Fellow by the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ).

The Dubawa Fellowship is supported by Heinrich Boll Stiftung Foundation Abuja office.

According to the Programme Assistant Dubawa, PTCIJ, Temilade Onilede, Mr Folarin who is a Ph.D candidate at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, emerged from 104 applicants.

Folarin who is also the promoter of Nigeria Meter, an online media platform dedicated to documenting promises of public officials and monitoring their fulfilments, was selected after going through two stages of selection. This include filling an application form and attending a virtual interview.

Onilede in an e-mail explained that Folarin was selected "as one of Dubawa’s fact-checking fellows 2020 who will tackle misinformation and hold political elites accountable for their words, action."

She added that the programme is expected to "expand the reach of verified information to grassroots communities that are targeted constituencies for political, social and cultural disinformation so they are adequately equipped to hold political elites accountable."

"Out of 104 applicants, You have been selected. So congratulations once again!"

In cooperation with the Heinrich-Boll-Stiftung-Abuja office, Folarin and other Fellows will today, Wednesday 8th July, 2020, commence a 4-day virtual training as part of the Fact-checking Fellowship programme which will last for six months, July to December 2020.

Folarin according to the call-for-application is expected to conduct empirical analyses of the patterns of information consumption in Nigeria and Ghana and its impact on democratic governance in selected society.

Selected Fellows who are journalists are also expected to deliver an average of at least four fact-check stories and two media literacy articles per month.

Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor of Crescent University, Professor Ibrahim Gbajabiamila has congratulated Mr Folarin on his emergence as a Fellow of Dubawa's Fact-checking project by the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ).

Gbajabiamila said the selection of Mr Folarin out of numerous applicants, speaks volumes of the quality of manpower tasked with promoting the academic and moral excellence at Crescent University, Abeokuta.

He commended PTCIJ and Heinrich Boll Stiftung Foundation Abuja office for coming up with the project that is expected to address challenges associated with fake news in Nigeria.

The Vice Chancellor noted that the project is promoting one of the cardinal principles of the University as it is a form of hand shake between the gown and town.

"Crescent University as an academic community will continue to collaborate with professionals from different fields to churn out quality graduates for the manpower needs of the country."

"We will continue to support our staff in area of relevant training that will enable Crescent University deliver its mandate as a citadel of academic and moral excellence", Gbajabiamila stressed.

In his congratulatory message, the Head of Department of Mass Communication, Crescent University, Dr Kola Adesina commended Mr Folarin for his tenacity and dedication to research on theory and practice of journalism.

Dr Adesina added that the feat is the result of one of the many ways the University is ensuring that it gives the best in terms of training to staff and students. 

*All You Need to Know 2020 Dubawa Fellowship*
It would be recalled that the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), through its fact-checking project, DUBAWA, called for  applications from journalists and researchers for the second edition of her fact-checking fellowship.

The Dubawa Fact-Checking Fellowship promotes accountability of public institutions and political office holders by strengthening the individual capacity of journalists to critically examine public statements and supports the establishment of fact-checking desks in various newsrooms across Nigeria and Ghana. 

The opportunity is, thus, provided for journalists who are analytical, dedicated, innovative, highly knowledgeable in politics and researchers or academics with demonstrable evidence of commitment/interest in fact-checking as a mechanism for promotion and protection of truth in human affairs.

The Dubawa fact-checking project was inspired by the need to tackle the societal menace of mis- and dis-information in Nigeria and Ghana and creating a safer media ecosystem where truth and accuracy can thrive without jeopardizing freedom of expression.

The fellowship is supported by the National Endowment for Democracy and Heinrich Boll Stiftung Foundation and offers a monthly stipend to cover all costs of the investigation and research project for fellows.

The 2020 edition of the Fellowship selected journalists domiciled in new media platforms (online blogs), radio and TV stations in Nigeria and Ghana who are interested in pursuing fact-checking of stories pertaining to politics, governance, and business.

In addition, the fact-checking project also considered undergraduate students, postgraduate students and persons who works in academia and can devote sufficient time and resources to conducting monthly research on the complex dynamics of the information disorder ecosystem.

The beneficiaries are expected to build a body of knowledge and quantifiable data around the understanding of information disorder in Nigeria and Ghana.

The Fellows are also expected come up with ingenious ways to expand the reach of verified information to grassroots communities that are targeted constituencies for political, social and cultural disinformation.

The Fellows who are journalists must commit to write (online media) or read (radio and TV – also write) four fact-checks stories related to politics and two media literacy articles on a monthly basis.

They are also expected to facilitate the cross publication of at least one fact-check per month in whatever format, promote fact-checking on all social media, radio or TV platforms as necessary and train colleagues on the theory and practice of fact-checking

The beneficiaries are to assist their newsroom to set up fact-checking desks prior to or upon completion of the programme.

Meanwhile, Fellows who are researchers are expected to provide monthly analytical articles that could cover aspects of the information disorder ecosystem.

They are also to work with other researcher(s) to jointly produce a comprehensive research document on information disorder in Nigeria and Ghana to be presented at the end of the Fellowship.

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