Malawi traditional media urged to help debunk fake news
MISA Malawi has urged the traditional media in Malawi to be proactive in debunking fake news and work towards regaining lost trust amongst audience members.
MISA Malawi Chairperson Teresa Ndanga said this when she opened a two-day Media Training on Fact-Checking at Malawi Sun Hotel in Blantyre on Thursday, June 11, 2020.
Ndanga said community engagements that MISA Malawi has been conducting on fake news have exposed loss of trust in the traditional media amongst some community members.
“Fake news, misinformation or disinformation is not only a social media problem as we thought. People on the ground are also talking about losing trust in traditional media due to misinformation.
“Some of the people that we have met even talked about confusion that some traditional media houses are bringing by reporting the same issue or event differently. We need to bring back the trust in the media by taking a proactive stand against fake news. We need to use traditional media to debunk fake news,” Ndanga said.
She said MISA Malawi has established an Expert Group on Fact Checking which will be investigating and exposing fake news using traditional media such as radio.
The Chairperson then called on members of the group attending the training to actively support the initiative for the good of the traditional media.
Some of the issues that participants to the training are discussing are Importance of Access to Information in fighting fake news, Role of traditional media in debunking fake news, regional experiences in fighting fake news and fact checking tools and approaches in the digital era.
MISA Malawi is implementing a 6 months project on Fighting Fake News through Access to Information with support from the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA).
MISA Malawi believes that access to credible and accurate information is important to limit the proliferation of misinformation. Effective implementation of the Access to Information (ATI) Act will help the country curb fake news.
About MISA Malawi
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi was founded in 1996. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.