By Jean d’Amour Mugabo
Media practitioners in Rwanda have acquired skills about fact-checking and upholding social accountability in their daily work of gathering and reporting stories.
Organised by Transparency International (TI)-Rwanda and Pax Press in collaboration with the Graduate School of Media and Communications Aga Khan University Nairobi and Africa Check, the workshop on media engagement for citizen participation was held in Kigali, Friday, under the theme “Citizen Voice Matters.”
Opening the one-day workshop which attracted around 60 participants, the Executive Director of TI-Rwanda, Apollinaire Mupiganyi said the Anti-Corruption Watchdog decided in 2018 to engage media as a powerful weapon to attain social accountability in the country.
“With this Rwanda Media Network for Social Accountability launched in 2018, we have changed a lot in our collaboration with media practitioners. We shall keep these efforts to make sure that the change we, as civil society, need to see is attained,” he said. “We need concerted efforts to reach the target, we need media practitioners who understand well their profession and have competent skills.”
Mr Mupiganyi said that the workshop intended to provide journalists with the capacity of analysing the information they receive before reporting it to the public and make sure that they will disseminate accurate and insightful information which brings change in the communities.
Facilitators included Prof Thomas R Lansner and Dr Sam Kamau, both from Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media and Communications, and Alphonse Shiundu who is the Kenya Country Editor for Africa Check.
They reminded participants that fake news abounds nowadays and that it is the responsibility of every journalist to fact-check everything they receive before sharing it wide.
Mr Shiundu introduced participants to tools that can help them fact-check texts, images and videos that go around on a daily basis and carefully verify social media content including fake tweets and Facebook posts.