Fact-checking website launched

2012-11-01 11:05

Africa’s first fact-checking website, invented by the AFP Foundation, has been launched, the journalism department at Wits University has said.

“To our knowledge, this is the first time anyone has tried to do something like this, here in Africa,” AFP Foundation deputy director Peter Cunliffe-Jones said today in a statement.

“For any society to function properly, people need access to reliable information and that includes Africa,” he said.

“Whether the claims people make are about health, politics or the economy, they should be checked properly and impartially.”

The site Africa Check, based in Wits’ journalism department, was established to spread the skills and practice of fact-checking among students and media houses.

Caxton professor of journalism at Wits Anton Harber was a senior adviser to the project.

He said: “I believe that Africa Check can make an important contribution to public discourse by promoting a culture of accuracy and making public figures think twice about playing loose with the facts.”

The project would be funded until the end of the year by the IPI News Innovation Contest, run by the Vienna-based International Press Institute.

The site can be found on www.africacheck.org.

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