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Media Literacy

Nigeria: PTCIJ joins Unesco partnership and trains Gambian youth leaders in media skills

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The training included sessions on democracy and information literacy, and freedom of information and expression.

In the run-up to the December 4th presidential election, the Premium Times Center for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) trained 40 young community leaders in the Gambia in media and information literacy.

The three-day training, which is supported by the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO), took place from November 29th to December 1st at the Senegambia Beach Hotel.

PTCIJ’s Acting Executive Director Tobi Oluwatola welcomed the participants, who come from youth-centered civil society organizations (CSOs), and emphasized the importance of media and information literacy in Gambia’s efforts to promote its young democracy.

“As The Gambia prepares for its first post-Jammeh parliamentary elections, which are aimed at cementing the country’s nascent democracy, media users must be empowered to access and use information wisely. Media and information literacy (MIL) is a prerequisite for democratic participation and freedom of expression, “he said.

The training included sessions on democracy and information literacy, freedom of information and expression, fact checking and verification, internet opportunities and challenges, among others.

At various times, participants also took part in group assignments to measure their understanding of the sessions and assess plans to disseminate the knowledge gained.

Ajie Sonko, president of the Gambian Ladies Organization, said the training sessions helped her understand the information ecosystem.

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“I did a lot in those meetings that we had,” she said. “I’ve learned things that I never knew. I’ve learned things like types of information disruption … misinformation, disinformation and misinformation. I think this is very important in our environment because information moves the world forward and when there is information disruption in the world World is no country, there is no way the country can move forward. “

Ms. Sonko promised to pass on what she had learned to members of her organization and others.

“If I go, I will not be selfish and keep what I have learned to myself. Whenever my organization goes out into the countryside, I will make sure we educate people in media and information literacy,” she said.

Similarly, Joe Bongay, executive director of Young Volunteers for the Environment, said he learned a lot from the sessions.

“In the last three days we have acquired a very good knowledge of fact checking, how to recognize fake news … which is very important for my organization and in the process of our development work. The Gambia is still changing gradually and I consider this training to be appropriate people local and local development partners to understand, respect and apply them together to develop as a nation, “he said.

In Gambia, the smallest country on the African mainland, a president will be elected on Saturday. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) acquitted six candidates for election, the first since dictator Yahya Jammeh’s escape in 2017.

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