If it’s too sensational, check it – Fact-check guru

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By Rhoda Krah and Celestina Sinoha Cheba

Every professional journalist must, as a matter of principle, always doubt any story that reads too sensational or is overly exciting. They need to train their eyes to discern accurate information especially in the age of internet and technology. Understanding the distinction therefore between misinformation and misinformation is indeed crucial.

Kwaku Krobea Asante, team lead of Fact-check Ghana, made these statements when he spoke to L400 journalism student at African University College of Communications on October 2, 2023.

Kwaku Asante, an experienced media professional, and researcher with interest in media ,fact-checking and access to information laws in Africa was speaking at ‘MediaTalk’ on the topic  “Vital Skills of Digital News Gathering and Verification”.

“As journalists and communication students, our role is vital in ensuring the accuracy and integrity of the information we publish. In today’s digital age, where misinformation and disinformation are prevalent, responsible journalism involves thorough fact-checking and verification before disseminating any information”, Mr. Asante said.

He urged all journalists to fact-check all stories before sharing them to the general public by first verifying the source.

“Check if it’s a reputable news outlet. Check if the sources are credible. Upholding these standards is essential to maintain trust and fulfill the responsibilities of journalism,” he said. He added that one significant way of fact-checking is to cross-check facts across different sources for accuracy.

He also advised students to choose accuracy over speed, explaining that proper fact-checking can be the difference between life and death in many cases.

Fact-checking, Mr. Asante said, is all about ensuring accuracy and promoting reliable information, these being the responsibility of all professional journalists.

Vanessa Vanderpuye, a level 400 journalism student who was at the event, said she learnt a lot from the talk.

“We all want to break news first, but it is more important that we inform our audiences with accurate information rather than to misinform them just for speed or popularity”.

A section of journalism students at MediaTalk, AUCC

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