Media literacy

UNDEF-funded project to strengthen media literacy and fact-checking skills


With the support of the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF), Africa Check, the continent’s leading independent fact-checking organization, will implement a multi-pronged four-year project to tackle disinformation and strengthen democracy. The project, Media education for evidence-based decision making in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, aims to strengthen media literacy and fact-checking skills.

The project will deploy Africa Check’s 360-degree approach to tackle disinformation, in partnership with key players, including journalists and the general public.

With the support of UNDEF, Africa Check aims to:

  • Empower the public, especially young people, to be more critical of the information they see and share.

  • Increase access to precise information.

  • Build the fact-checking capacity of students, journalists and bloggers.

Media literacy programs “hold great promise” as a proactive strategy to tackle disinformation, recent research conducted by Africa Check, Full Fact and Chequeado found.

The project’s media literacy intervention aims to proactively immunize people against fake news and help them understand, analyze and critically assess the news, instead of just consuming and sharing it. Significantly, to reach new audiences and connect more deeply with them, the media literacy campaign will be created in different formats and local languages ​​such as isiZulu (South Africa), Hausa (Nigeria) and kiswahili (Kenya).

Young people will be a key discussion group. By developing media literacy skills at a young age, we believe that young people can be empowered to be informed users of information throughout their lives. The intervention will reach 4,800 expected learners through “infotainment” events in secondary schools in the three countries.

This project will also increase access to accurate information on key issues such as health, finance, education and politics that the public and decision makers can use to participate in public debate and make evidence-based decisions. . Africa Check will expand its fact-checking work through news media and social networks to increase access to reliable information for a wide range of audiences in the three countries.

Another key objective of the project will be to foster and strengthen fact-checking skills among communication and journalism students, journalists and bloggers, or citizen reporters, who are key players in the ecosystem of the information. In the fight against disinformation, it is crucial that fact-checking is not limited to specialist organizations like Africa Check.

By strengthening the fact-checking capacities of current and future journalists, the project aims to foster a culture of fact-checking in newsrooms, ensuring that information released to the public is accurate and verified.

While training in fact-checking skills is an essential first step, we believe it should serve as a catalyst to create a broader fact-checking culture among journalists. For this reason, participants will also receive structured post-training support to anchor the learning. There will also be a targeted mentoring program for selected participants, through our Africa Facts network which brings together fact-checkers from across the continent.

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