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Fake news: Center trains journalists on fact-checking, investigative reporting

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Godsgift Onyedinefu

The Premium Times Center for Investigative journalism (PTCIJ) on Monday commenced a seven-day training workshop for journalists on fact-checking and investigative reporting to enhance credible news reportage in the country.

The publisher of Premium Times, Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi, speaking at the workshop in Abuja noted that truth which is the foundation and basis of journalism has come under “serious attack”

He added that the intergrity of journalism and indeed democracy is also threatened with the menace of fake news.

“As journalists, our key tool of work is truth, and truth is under serious attack today, in essence, if we don’t work to retrieve the integrity of truth, then the foundation and basis of our profession is I’m trouble.” He said

He added, “the problem of journalism today is fake news, democracy as a system of government has also gone under ferocious attack, on account of fake news, elections have been interfered with in the Nigeria. In essence one the biggest threat to democracy is fake news.

To this end, Olorunyomi explained that the essence of the training is to educate journalists on fact-checking and investigation which he describes as effective tools for addressing and engaging the mennce.

“Journalism as a practice, undergoes changes, and whatever change it goes through, it must not loose sight that but must always be truthful, and offer accurate information to citizens.

“So fact checking is the most newest tool available to help respond to accuracy in reporting and help save the intergrity of journalism,” he said.

Akintunde Babatunde, a programme officer at PTCIJ, also stressing on the importance of investigation and fact-checking said journalists are purveyors of information which the public rely on to make informed choices.

He therefore called on journalists not to misinform or disinform the public adding that the consequences of such can be fatal.

Journalists at the training were drawn from the print, broadcast and online media.

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