FR

Desinfox Africa

Fighting fake news in East and Central Africa

The widespread broadcasting of fake news is a major factor contributing to social turmoil in a growing number of African countries. As a result, journalists need to acquire fact-checking tools and techniques.

 

Timetable

October 2020 – December 2023

Total budget

€1.5 million

Misinformation The French-speaking world

Desinfox is helping four to six media outlets in six African countries to develop columns or programmes to fight fake news. The plan is to train 55 journalists from 31 media outlets in fact-checking methods and techniques and to support their managers as they implement strategies to secure a wider audience and seek partnerships.

In early 2021, journalists from Senegal, Cameroon and the Central African Republic were selected to take part, then in July, the training activities were launched in the six countries involved in the project. In Dakar, eight trainers from Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Benin and Central African Republic first consolidated their own skills, before embarking on their assignments to help media outlets launch their columns and programmes to fight fake news in August.

Fact-checking: definition and strategies

In the autumn, journalists from Central African Republic, Cameroon and Senegal followed a foundation course on the basics of fact-checking and related ethics. Technical fact-checking workshops on various narrative formats in multimedia (press, web and social media, radio and television) helped the media reach a wider audience by producing content that is easier to grasp and more hard-hitting. Sessions on social media monitoring and publication strategy were also held in Benin and Ivory Coast.

“The last session in Dakar was very instructive and important, giving me practical resources that I now use in my work as a journalist. These training courses have helped me acquire fact-checking reflexes.”
Amadou Ba, journalist at InnovAfrika (Senegal)

In 2021, the newsrooms were provided with support in the implementation of new fact-checking strategies. They were in particular able to leverage an online training application “Let’s combat misleading information”, developed by CFI in partnership with the France 24 Observers and the LAFAAAC academy.

See video (in French only):

“The Desinfox training courses are very useful. I personally found the Smart Brevity [k1] and Listicle segments very useful. We adopted a practical stance to explore fact-checking methods, which I now use on a daily basis.”
Cryspin Laoundiki, journalist at Le Faso (Burkina Faso)

The year ended with CFI helping to organise the third AfricTivists Summit. Attended by bloggers, activists and institutions, it was held from 11 to 13 November in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) with the aim of sharing ideas and fostering synergy. During this event, the presenter of the RFI programme “Les Dessous de l’infox” (The inside story of fake news), Sophie Malibeaux, led a panel discussion on misinformation.


More projects carried out in 2021