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AFP Foundation launches African fact-checking website in partnership with South African University

Africa Check - a brand new fact-checking website devised by the AFP Foundation and run in partnership with the journalism department of the University of the Witwatersrand- will be launched in South Africa on Wednesday 31 October.

The first website in Africa set up exclusively to fact-check public debate it will be launched in Johannesburg at Power Reporting – a three-day conference on investigative journalism in Africa run by the university.

 

“Fact-checking is a growing trend in the media, and in wider society, around the world. But to our knowledge, this is the first time anyone has tried to do something like this, here in Africa,” said AFP Foundation deputy director Peter Cunliffe-Jones, who devised and oversees the project.

 

As well as producing its own fact-checking reports, the site provides tips and advice for its readers on how to fact-check as well as a library of databases and fact-checking tools. Being based at a university, it aims to spread the skills and practice of fact-checking among both student and working journalists.

 

“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,” added Anton Harber, the Caxton Professor of Journalism at WITS, and a former editor of the South African Mail and Guardian, who is senior adviser to the project.

 

Initial funding for the project was awarded in May 2012 by the IPI News Innovation Contest.
 

Speaking earlier this year, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said: “I salute the work of Africa Check, as an important initiative engaging with journalists and citizens across the continent to raise the level of public debate.”

 

About AFP Foundation:
The AFP Foundation is the non-profit arm of the AFP News Agency, set up in July 2007 to provide training and support to journalists in developing countries. It exists to raise journalism standards worldwide and promote press freedom.
 

For more information about the project please contact:
Peter Cunliffe-Jones. Email: peter.cunliffe-jones@afp.com  or Tel: +44 7793 307100
Anton Harber. Email: anton@harber.co.za or Tel: +27 83 303 9497

 

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