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Case Study: Building Journalists Capacity to Fact-Check Election Related Content

“I think it was a great learning experience. I feel the concepts discussed are of great value to media practitioners, both at the entry and at the management level.” - Participant

The age of social media has increased the rate at which information is shared but this can have great consequences when the information that is being shared is unreliable or false. Elections are one area where the risk and negative impact of false information is keenly felt - they are often surrounded by false information due to high public interest and the high rewards for bad actors seeking to sway votes.

Realising the dangers that election mis- and disinformation hold for the public in the lead up to the 2021 Zambian elections, BBC Media Action set out to prepare the journalists and public for the slew of false information that typically surrounds election season. Together, we tried to find ways to better equip journalists to fact-check election related content in Zambia and help journalists and the general public to better understand mis- and disinformation and how to combat it in real time?

“The training is timely especially that Zambia is going to be elections this year, the experience is amazing as I have learnt on the need to fact check.” - Participant

We worked closely with the team in Zambia and provided the following support:

Consulting and advisory sessions: TRi Facts supported BBC Media Action in the design and implementation of the project. 

Fact-checking training and coaching: We offered a range of training workshops and coaching sessions to equip journalists with good understanding of fact-checking and guide them how to implement it in their daily work.

Media literacy programme (audio & visuals): We produced engaging and entertaining social media content to strengthen the media literacy of the general public 

Mis- and disinformation course: We created an online course that would serve as an introduction to mis- and disinformation. The course included relevant readings and materials around current trends related to mis- and disinformation, animated illustrative videos, audio lectures, supporting graphics and assessment activities.  

Our support strengthened the ability of BBC Media Action supported network of journalists  to fight against mis- and disinformation. They also gained shareable tools that would further help fact-checking efforts across the region.

“There has been a tremendous improvement in the productions of coachees with coachees now understanding the basics of what is required in a fact check such as number of sources required, which sources are credible, and the format that needs to be followed for a fact check to be completed. We have also seen an improvement in the claims being identified to fact check by coachees, making sure that fact checks are relevant to the audience.” - Training Facilitator