Dubawa Partners Google News Initiative, To Train Journalists in West Africa on Digital Verification, Fact-checking

In a effort to elevate journalistic standards in West Africa, the Google News Initiative (GNI) has partnered with DUBAWA, the verification and fact-checking arm of the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) to build the capacity of journalists across West Africa. The groundbreaking partnership with a focus on an extensive training program specially tailored for journalists residing in non-urban communities within Nigeria, Ghana, and Liberia will help strengthen the media ecosystem in the subregion.

This collaboration seeks to augment DUBAWA’s longstanding commitment to fostering a culture of truth in journalism by integrating the digital expertise that GNI brings to the fore.

The initiative aims to engage a minimum of 280 journalists spanning these three countries. It will offer comprehensive training in digital verification, acquainting participants with specialized Google tools and resources.

Additionally, journalists will benefit from two interactive, non-residential workshops conducted in selected regions, accompanied by in-newsroom training sessions.

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Caroline Anipah, the Deputy Director overseeing Verification and Media Literacy Practice, highlighted the program’s importance and scope, stating, “Often, such training programmes are designed for journalists in city centres, neglecting those in non-urban communities. However, this partnership is different. At DUBAWA, we believe every journalist, especially those confronted with challenges of misinformation, should be equipped with the necessary skills to counter fake news effectively and, above all, to foster a well-informed citizenry. This is the essence of this project,” she expressed..

Vincent Ryan, EMEA Partnerships Manager at Google, commented, “In an era where information is both a tool and a weapon, news verification and fact-checking have never been more paramount. Through our collaboration with DUBAWA, the Google News Initiative is deeply committed to fortifying the journalistic community in West Africa with robust verification tools and strategies. Together, we are laying the bedrock for a future where every news piece is accurate and trustworthy.”

Akintunde Babatunde, Director of Programmes at CJID, expressed his gratitude to the Google team for partnering with DUBAWA. He noted, “This new partnership has validated the terrific work happening at CJID/DUBAWA over the years. Our mandate has always been to positively disrupt the media ecosystem in West Africa to ensure a vibrant and independent media society. With this support, which will further extend the frontiers of our capacity-building initiatives, we are excited about an opportunity to support journalists and fact-checkers in these countries.”

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In a world where over 70% of internet users worldwide have unwittingly encountered misinformation, initiatives like this take on immense significance. For nations such as Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and The Gambia, a reliable journalism foundation serves not only as a source of credible information but also as a bulwark of democracy, upholding the integrity of news and preserving the principles upon which informed societies thrive.

About DUBAWA:

DUBAWA is a transnational fact-checking and verification platform initiated by the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) to address information disorder, principally misinformation and disinformation, through multi-pronged expert-identified approaches. Launched in 2018 by the Centre and operating in the five anglophone West African countries (Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia and The Gambia), DUBAWA aims to advance truth and accuracy in reporting to help instil a culture of verification among journalists, elected and public officials, and citizens; and to promote technology use in journalism.

About the Google News Initiative:


The Google News Initiative represents Google’s comprehensive effort to consolidate its products, partnerships, and programs, all aimed at ensuring the flourishing of journalism in the digital age. The initiative concentrates on three pivotal objectives: raising the standard of information while combating misinformation, innovating business models that extend beyond advertising to support quality journalism, and enabling news organisations to effectively harness new technologies, including AI, to meet their evolving needs.

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