#CheckBeforeYouShare: Fact Lens Ghana presents “Building Resilience Against Mis(dis)information to Protect Communities”

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Photo credit: Michael Hammond (2nd left back – Editor), Vanessa Otchere (2nd left front: Journalist), Mavis Sarfowaa (Engagement Coordinator), Steven Tindi (mid-front left: Lecturer – GIJ), Nana Agyeman (middle – Director or Operations), Jonas Nyabor (mid-front right: Journalist – Citi FM), Joy Agyepong (3rd back right: Administrative Director), Nanaa Apokwor Korkor Tetteh (Volunteer MC) Giselle Asare-Kumi (Right -Goethe Institut Library Rep)  and Production Crew ( 1st guy left and 2nd Lady right)

Photo credit: Vanessa Otchere: Journalist – Fact Lens GH 

Photo credit: Jonas Nyabor (Left), Vanessa Otchere (mid), Stephen Tindi (Right)

Photo credit: Joy Agyepong (Administrative Director)

Photo credit: Giselle Asare-Kumi (Goethe Institut Library Rep)On Friday, March 19, 2021, Fact Lens GH, in partnership with Goethe Institut, organised the maiden edition of Media Literacy for Millennials (M4M), under the theme, ‘Building resilience against mis(dis) information to protect communities.”

Present at the event were officials from both institutions as well as selected resource persons who shared insights into the menace of mis(dis)information. They included Steven Tindi, a lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), Jonas Yabor, a journalist with Citi FM and Vanessa Otchere, a senior journalist with Fact Lens GH. 

Highlights of the programme include a panel discussion among the resource persons, a launch of the #CheckBeforeYouShare campaign and a brief overview of plans to set up chapters in selected tertiary institutions. 

Highlights from the event:

  • Generally, in Ghana, as seen globally, information dissemination channels have taken a different turn from traditional media to the use of new media, viz the Internet. Much as it presents benefits, it also serves as a means to mis(dis) inform with its consequent adverse effects. 
  • Misinformation refers to sharing information that is not true. Disinformation however refers to deliberately creating and  sharing information that is intended to influence the actions and thoughts of the audience. 
  • Media literacy refers to one’s ability to access, analyse, evaluate and create information. It is necessary to help us decipher the difference between true and false information. 
  • The onus of fact-checking lies on us as individuals, much as the traditional media are to help with fact-checking and disseminating the right information.
  • Currently, in Ghana, there exist some tools for fact-checking including resorting to fact-checking organisations. 
  • To protect communities against disinformation, #CheckBeforeYouShare any information, especially if you have doubts or if you are unsure about the authoritativeness of its source.
  • There are a number of reputable institutions that are dedicated to fact-checking information. When in doubt, it could be best to resort to help from such bodies.
  • In times past, the state-owned media were primarily regarded as authentic sources of information and much value was placed on news shared by such media outlets.
  • With the advent of new media, it increasingly becomes difficult for authorities to implement measures aimed at curbing acts of mis(dis)information. 
  • It was, however, established that the passing of the Electronic Communications Act, 2008, Ac 775, provides a legal cure to deal with the spread of fake information online. 

Fact Lens GH is a non-governmental organization in Ghana with a core mandate to conduct: Fact Checks; Journalistic Researches and Investigations; News Publications; Public Debates; Educational Forums. Fact-checking goes together with verification and the advent of social media makes it easy for mis(dis)information (fake news) to spread. These social platforms have devised ways to control the spread by putting in place measures such as WhatsApp which has reduced the number of times you can forward a message. However, there is more to be done. The nature of fake news is such that its effect is felt more offline than online

OBJECTIVES of Fact Lens Ghana

  • Create an alternative to the “what you see is all there is “ mentality.
  • Educate the public on how to recognise and or identify fake news and fake news sites.
  • To provide daily information from a variety of verified and authentic sources to weave the gathered stories into a more comprehensive meaning for the public.
  • To return the primary filter of journalists as established truth-tellers, from the broadened sources of information by social media networks.
  • Clarify the differences between facts and opinions, to the public. Opinions informed by facts or the  purposeful denial of them
  • To amass a considerable number of truth seekers across the country and the globe.
  • To prove to the general public our (Facts Lens GH) transparency with the truth and our form of accountability journalism.
  • To serve as an overall round of quality control for news outlets content before publication.
  • To serve as a source of employment.
  • To Debunk fake news as and when they surface.
  • To portray objectiveness by levelling fact-checking, debunking and verification in a structure.

TEAM PROFILE: Meet the Core Team Advisory Board Members

Administrative Director

Joy N.Y. Agyepong is a social entrepreneur, an Open Advocate through fact-checking and provides Open Educational Resource support. She is the co-founder and Administrative Director at Fact Lens GH and holds a Business Administration degree with a focus in Total Quality Management. Joy is passionate about volunteering, leadership development and has the desire to promote accurate information for people’s consumption.

Director of Operations

Nana Akwasi G Agyeman is a TechPreneur, Ethical Hacker by profession and a CyberMedia Evangelist. He is the CEO and Founder of PiCrate Dynamics LLC, Co-founder and Director of Operations at Fact Lens GH. Nana Agyeman is a passionate Hacktivist, CyberMedia Artist, and Advocate for Culture Enhancement through Technology. He has interests in Music, Deep Web Research and Operational Structure.

Engagement Coordinator

Mavis Sarfowah Ammah loves to read wide. Knowledge is the source of her confidence and power.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Linguistics, Bachelor of Arts in Administration. Mavis is the Engagement Coordinator and her job is to oversee the entire communication channels of the organisation. She is also responsible for identifying and initiating partnerships and community engagements. Mavis is a jack of all trade and a master of administration and customer services.

Editor

Michael Nii Ayitey Hammond has several years of experience in writing and editing. He holds an LLB and is passionate about law, media and entrepreneurship.  Michael serves as Editor at Fact Lens GH, and is primarily responsible for ensuring error-free write-ups on and off the website. Fun fact: He is passionate about sharing ideas and growing small businesses.

Journalist

Vanessa Otchere is passionate about storytelling and a volunteer by heart. She works as a journalist at Fact Lens GH. Vanessa loves fact-checking and writing articles. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies with a specialisation in Journalism. Fun fact: She is ambidextrous.

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