Albarka FM Holds Media Roundtable on Ethics and Fact-checking for Journalists in Kwara State

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Albarka 89.9 FM, an independent radio station based in Ilorin, Ganmo, Kwara State on November 15, 2023, held a one-day media roundtable on “Media Law and Ethics Concept, Principles and Practices and Fact-Checking as a Tool for Investigative Journalism, Its Impact on Good Governance and Accountability” for journalists drawn from among media organizations and practitioners across Kwara State.

Ms Bushrah Yusuf-Badmus, Principal Correspondent, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) made a presentation on the topic “Media Law and Ethics – Concept Principles and Practice.” She pointed out that for the media to contribute effectively in good governance; they must apply the basic principles of patriotism, accountability, and objectivity in the discharge of their duties.

According to Bushrah: “All aspects of good governance are facilitated by the existence of a strong, pluralistic and independent media in the society, hence, the need for a free and independent media. There is the need to have a free and vibrant media landscape for the success of democracy and enhancement of good governance by the media.”

She further told participants: “As professional media practitioners, we have to be always circumspect in our reportage and most importantly on any investigative reporting because people are always looking forward to us to feed them with happening in our environment daily, and this has to be accurate and unmalicious.”

Zainab Oyiza Sanni of News Verifier, another media expert who joined the training via zoom presented a paper titled” “Fact Checking as a Tool for Investigative Reporting.” She put participants through fact-checking and tools they can deploy to ensure information and images are not misrepresented in their reporting.

She explained that verification can be done on image, video, audio and text as well as geolocation verification.

She listed Yandex, Google Drive, Deepware, PimEyes, and other tools that journalists can use to check and detect facts about information that might be manipulated, doctored or that are fake.

She added that using five Ws and H as the basis to verify and track down contents, answers will be provided to who says what, where, when, why, and how. Then, she added, facts and figures would be revealed.

Albarka 89.9 FM conducted the roundtable with support from the MacArthur Foundation through the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) under the Collaborative Media Engagement for Development, Inclusion and Accountability (CMEDIA) Project, a multi-level intervention that supports media independence, improved transparency, accountability, and good governance in state and local governments with more public awareness on the need for accountability, and amplified marginalised voices.