Kigezi journalists urged to combat misinformation

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Kigezi journalists urged to combat misinformation
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Journalists across the Kigezi sub-region have been urged to prioritise accuracy and fact-checking to combat the growing threat of misinformation and disinformation.

The call was made during a fact-checking training session hosted by the Debunk Media Initiative in Kabale Municipality.

The training, which attracted media practitioners from various outlets, aimed to educate participants on identifying and debunking false information.

It also covered the use of online verification tools and the challenges posed by AI-generated content.

Edgar Mathew Karuhanga, lead trainer at Debunk Media Initiative, emphasized the critical role of media responsibility in maintaining public trust.

“As journalists, you should bear in mind that the publication of false information poses a significant threat to the integrity of the media. It is very important for journalists to engage in rigorous fact-checking and verification to ensure the accuracy of their reports,” Karuhanga stated.

He further highlighted the detrimental effects of disinformation, noting,

“Disinformation affects people in various ways, especially by undermining the decision-making process, which can lead to danger and health complications for news consumers.”

Esther Kukundakwe, a radio presenter at Diocese of Kigezi Radio, echoed the need for continuous education and robust verification methods.

“Politics has been a major problem and cause of journalists’ involvement in misinformation due to their connections with certain parties and politicians,” Kukundakwe remarked.

“This training is timely as it will help us to deal away with issues of misinforming the public.” she added

Alex Byakatonda, a retired news editor and public relations officer for Kabale District, underscored the political compromises affecting media integrity.

“In the current era, media has been compromised by political machinery, leading to biased information being published,” Byakatonda said.

He also called on journalists to revisit the media profession’s code of conduct.

“This training is credibly insightful. As journalists, we have a duty to inform the public truthfully, and this training has equipped us with the necessary skills to do so.”

The training concluded with a consensus among journalists that such initiatives are crucial for upholding journalistic standards and protecting the public from the harmful effects of false information.

The Debunk Media Initiative reaffirmed its commitment to supporting journalists and plans to conduct similar training sessions in other regions across the country.

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