Africa Fact Checking Fellowship 2023 for Cameroonians (Cohort 8)
The increasing adoption of ICT usage in Cameroon, coupled with the democratization of public speech, has made it possible for often inexperienced players to manipulate, disseminate, or influence information with nefarious intentions. Today, hate speech, misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation are prevalent in online spaces and the mainstream media. It is packaged using methods designed to manipulate public opinion and serve the interests of its initiators. This contributes to the weakening of social cohesion and critical thinking within the Cameroonian society, which is characterized by fragile sociopolitical and security issues.
Since 2017 the Anglophone conflict and the 2018 post-election crisis crystallize the public debate and increase consumption and spread of ‘fake news’ online and in traditional media. Despite the efforts of various actors, the situation is taking alarming proportions in the context of tribalist attacks and their offshoots.
Yet fact-checking is not new in the newsroom. In recent years, there has been an increase in the verification of online information and public claims due to the proliferation of fake news on social media. This desire to combat the proliferation of ‘fake’ news online is underreported in online and offline media.
It is in this context that #defyhatenow Cameroon has for the past three years, run the “Africa Fact-checking Fellowship” #AFFCameroon programme, which aims to equip professionals with fact-checking skills to recognise misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation online. To date, seven cohorts of approximately 115 professionals from the Centre, Littoral, South-West, North-West, Adamawa, North, Far-North, and West have directly benefited from the fellowship.
Following this, #defyhatenow Cameroon is initiating a call for applications for its eighth cohort of professionals from April to June 2023. The objective is to establish a critical mass of fact-checkers, right information advocates, online and offline hate speech, and digital rights defenders.
About the Africa Fact-checking Fellowship – #AFFCameroon
The Africa Fact-checking Fellowship – #AFFCameroon is designed to track and map viral trends on social media related to current challenges of ‘fake news’ in Cameroon. Through its different cohorts, #AFFCameroon aims to enhance the skills of experienced professionals to effectively contribute to peace building and social cohesion through combating disinformation and hate speech.It intends to promote fact-checking, data journalism and digital rights towards journalists, bloggers and content creators in Africa. The program is based on a blended learning model using webinars, practical lessons, peer-to-peer learning and on-the-ground practical work. Fellows will have access to a rich set of online tools and resources as well as a network of experts and professionals from around the world.
Selected applicants will be informed by email of their selection for the program by 24 April 2023.
Who can apply
- Content creators
- Digital rights activists
- Opinion and community leaders
- Between 20 and 40 years old
Place of residence
- 20 April 2023.
- Be fully available, understand English and French, computer literate, and active on social media.
#defyhatenow is an initiative that aims to provide community-based, data-driven solutions to the problem of hate speech, misinformation and fake news. Our work focuses on creating a framework for building trust among stakeholders by mobilising civic action against all forms of hate speech and incitement to violence. #defyhatenow seeks to help voices against online-induced conflict go ‘viral’ within and beyond affected regions by engaging youth, community leaders, grassroots organisations and other civil society actors in a framework of peace in media and information. Bridging the gaps in knowledge and awareness of social media mechanisms between those who have access to technology and those who do not. Finally, #defyhatenow is a growing network of online and offline peacekeepers.