Facts and Lies about Africa: A Matter of Life and Death
Wed, Oct 19, 18:00-20:00
309 Regent St, Boardroom (First Floor)
W1B 2HW London
Organised by Westminster Institute for Advanced Studies (WIAS), Africa
Check, Africa Media Centre, Communication and Media Research Institute
All across the length and breadth of Africa, from South Africa to
Senegal, people make decisions, big and small, every day. To do this,
they have to rely on the best information that is publicly available.
But often the information about Africa in the mainstream media, public
discussions and social media is partial, misleading or just plain wrong.
Misleading claims about minority populations, replayed in the
traditional and social media, have led to everything from xenophobic
attacks in South Africa in 2015 to the Rwandan genocide of 1994. False
media reports into health problems, such as polio, and supposed cures
for diseases from HIV/AIDS to Ebola, have caused unnecessary sickness
and death across the continent.
Africa Check https://africacheck.org, the continent’s first independent
fact-checking website, was set up in 2012. It is based at the Journalism
Department of the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg,
South Africa. Today, Africa Check runs four offices – in South Africa,
Senegal, Kenya and Nigeria – and fact-checks key claims leading public
figures make. Africa Check publishes its findings on its site and in
partnership with the wider media.
The organisation is a leading member of International Fact-Checking
Network, a grouping of independent fact-checking organisations from
around the world.
Peter Cunliffe-Jones, founder of Africa Check, will present a paper
focusing on his organisation and the impact its work has had so far. Dr
Winston Mano, Director of the Africa Media Centre, will analyse reasons
why Africa is misrepresented, its impact on the continent and methods
with which researchers can help overcome the problem. The event and
discussion will be chaired by Professor Christian Fuchs, who is Director
of both the Westminster Institute for Advanced Studies and the
Communication and Media Research Institute.
This evening marks the beginning of a series of events carried out by
the new partnership between WIAS, Africa Check and Africa Media Centre.
Apart from events, the partnership will involve joint research and other
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