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Media Literacy

USA supports media literacy project to build capacity for 170 radio journalists and 1,000 young people

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US Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria

The United States government is committed to supporting initiatives to promote and improve media literacy.

With the support of the US Consulate General in Lagos, the West Africa Broadcast and Media Academy (WABMA) and the Enugu Literacy Society (ELS) have launched the “Project Fact Check Nigeria” project, a project on media literacy and the fight against misinformation.

The project aims to strengthen critical thinking skills, expand digital and media literacy, and build the capacity of radio journalists to tackle misinformation and disinformation in the 17 states of southern Nigeria.

As part of this project, more than 170 radio presenters, producers and reporters will develop fact-checking skills and explore best practices for detecting fake news, disinformation and misinformation.

At the opening ceremony of the workshop in Lagos on Monday, Stephen Ibelli, official with the U.S. Consulate for Public Affairs, stated that healthy democracy requires both an informed public and accountable media that provide truthful and objective information.

“By promoting media literacy, we are strengthening the principles of transparency, good governance and the rule of law that serve as essential cornerstones of our democratic system,” said Ibelli.

As part of the project, WABMA and ELS have entered into a partnership with the management of the 17 participating radio stations to produce and broadcast media literacy and to combat misinformation broadcasts over the next 12 months.

The radio broadcasts and content will highlight the importance of personal responsibility in disseminating information and also provide basic media literacy.

To support the production and broadcast of media literacy radio programs and content, the US Consulate, WABMA and ELS donated equipment such as computers, digital dictation machines, headsets and microphones to the radio stations.

“In the coming months, we ask that you promote media literacy and educate your audiences and the people on your various social networks and communities to be vigilant about the threat of false information,” Ibelli said.

A second component of the “Project Fact Check Nigeria” is to teach 1,000 young executives the basics of digital fact checking and to separate facts from fiction and opinion using the existing curriculum on media skills of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).

Participants will be empowered to educate people on their social networks and communities to develop media literacy that will help individuals spot malicious narratives and misinformation.

Distributed by the APO Group on behalf of the US Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria.

© Press release 2021

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