Young journalists from Nairobi and neighbouring counties have been trained in investigative journalism and fact-checking, to equip them with the necessary skills for producing and disseminating factual information.
The four-day training was pioneered by investigative journalist and co-founder of Africa Uncensored John- Allan Namu in partnership with the US Embassy in Kenya.
Namu said that the emphasis of the training was on fact-checking, and debunking misinformation and disinformation.
“The focus was to give young journalists tools to begin careers as investigative journalists. We live in an environment where fake news, disinformation and misinformation are becoming dominant. Therefore, it is important to train many people on tools that will help them differentiate the truth from made-up information,” said Namu.
He noted that the future of the media industry in the country is bright as it has become easier for journalists to enhance their skills both on the job and via the internet.
“When I was starting my career, it was somewhat hard to come across new techniques and be able to practice them for free or at a fair price,” noted Namu.
Namu urged media houses to invest heavily by finding ways to ensure journalism thrives in a manner that can be sustained and paid for.
He added that media houses can burgeon through the support of the public via taxes or purchasing content.
“As media practitioners, we have to find a way to make the content produced by journalists worthwhile for the public to see. Media houses need to become visible as a platform for content and not just advertisers,” urged Namu.
Doris Kathia, a journalist, said the training was impactful as she learned about tools used in fact-checking, which will guide her moving forward to ensure she does not misinform the public.
“I have learned a lot I did not know as a journalist. Forging ahead, I will ensure to give correct information to the public seeking to learn what is happening at the grassroots,” Kathia said.
Alphonce Wadenya, a freelance journalist, noted that the membership programme was effective as he got to network with fellow journalists and learn more about the media industry.
The training brought together 17 media practitioners, who will be more inclined to pursue an opportunity that would enable their stories to be published at Piga Firimbi, a platform for Africa Uncensored, which mainly focuses on debunking false information.
By Naomi Gesare