Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian, Debo Adesina (fourth, left), International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), Ajibola Amzat (left); Head, The Guardian Digital, Lolade Nwanze; member Editorial Board, Martins Oloja; Programme Officer, ICIR, Gloria Agema; Executive Director, Dayo Aiyetan and Editor, The Guardian, Abraham Ogbodo, during ICIR’s courtesy visit to the newspaper’s corporate headquarters, Rutam House, Lagos… yesterday.

The Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) in collaboration with First Draft is to partner with The Guardian and other stakeholders in the country to combat misinformation ahead of 2019 general election.

The ICIR team, comprising its Executive Director, Dayo Aiyetan; Editor, Ajibola Amzat and Programme Officer, Gloria Agema paid The Guardian a courtesy visit yesterday to discuss the project with the newspaper’s team.

It said the goal of the project was to deploy the resources of collaborating media organisations in Nigeria and the United States to strengthen fact-checking and accountable journalism in the country.

“The stakeholder collaboration on fake news will allow various media partners to carry out real-time verification of rumours, manipulated photographs and videos on social platforms and debunk them before they go viral,” Aiyetan said.

He said the verification project would not only improve the public trust on the media, but also promote knowledge sharing among the partner newsrooms across the country.

The project is expected to commence in November with the training of journalists from the select organisations including, The Guardian, Punch, Channels television, The Nation, TVC, Premium Times, Sahara Reporters, University of Lagos, BBC Hausa, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Tribune, The Sun and The Cable.

“We believe the best way to fight the threat of fake news and save the integrity of our profession in the country is for the credible newsrooms in the country to collaborate on this verification project, Ayeitan said. Lessons learnt from this project will inform future academic researches and publication,” he added.

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