#defyhatenow Media Mentions

Africa Factchecking Fellowship – #AFFCameroon Cohort 9

Fact-checking: Defyhatenow empowers Fellows to combat false information, hate speech

2 minutes read

By Ngombet Claudia

In an era where misinformation has the potential to sow discord and undermine public peace, the importance of fact-checking cannot be overstated. Defyhatenow through its #AFFCameroon fellowship recognizes this pressing need and has for the past 3 years equipped fellows with the tools needed to detect fake news, debunk false information effectively, promote media literacy, and ensure the dissemination of accurate information.

By fostering a culture of critical thinking and fact-checking, the Cohort 9 fellows of the AFFCameroon fellowship recently gathered in a 3-day onsite training in Douala, and they acquired skills on fake news detection and information verification techniques using photos, videos, and documents.

“The #AFFCameroon fellowship should enable the selected fellows to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to identify, verify, and debunk false information, as well as to critically analyze and interpret data collected online. This will help journalists, bloggers, and content creators to disseminate accurate and reliable information, which is essential for maintaining public trust in the media and promoting transparency, accountability, and justice for a hate-free and peaceful Cameroon”, the Digital Project Coordinator for #defyhatenow_WCA, Tchiengue Donald emphasized on the importance of the training.

“In our current context, with the next elections in Cameroon just a few months away, there is an urgent need to increase the critical mass of media professionals with solid fact-checking and data analysis skills to ensure the accuracy and reliability of information”, Tchiengue added.

Throughout the 3-month fellowship which began last month, fellows would engage in a comprehensive curriculum designed to enhance their media literacy skills. They would learn how to discern between accurate and false information, identify common tactics employed by purveyors of misinformation, and employ fact-checking techniques to verify the authenticity of online content. By developing these essential skills, fellows will be better equipped to navigate the digital landscape and contribute to a more informed and stable society.

The #AFFCameroon fellowship also recognizes the significance of fostering a hate-free and peaceful society. By equipping fellows with the skills to combat false information, the fellowship equally aims at mitigating the spread of divisive narratives and promoting unity among Cameroonians.

According to Defyhayenow’s country project manager for Cameroon, Ngala Desmond, “Fake news and hate speech are directly linked, and these are ingredients for violence in any community”

He further reiterated that “those who are pushing mis/disinformation are doing it in a very coordinated way, so we need to actually push fellows to work in synergies and bring together actions that would potentially reduce and counter misinformation and violence in communities.”

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