Annelie Frank, Fojo’s own expert on fact-checking, worked as an expert mentor on the Rwanda Media Programme for two weeks recently. Being an expert mentor in Rwanda entails offering your expertise on a voluntary basis. We asked her what it was like to be an expert mentor for Fojo in Rwanda.
Who did you teach while you were in Rwanda?
Mostly professional journalists from the 25 media houses that are part of Fojo’s programme in Rwanda, but also teachers at the journalism school and staff from PAX Press, Fojo’s main partner organisation in Rwanda. I also taught students. It was a privilege to meet professionals in the Rwandan media industry in this way and to have the opportunity to discuss fact-checking with them. We had a lot of interesting discussions about for example how disinformation often changes to misinformation, the difficulties in sorting malinformation from relevant information and the role of journalism in the ongoing information war about Ukraine and Russia.
What did you teach?
I taught fact-checking, which involved lectures on the theory of information disorder, explaining and clarifying commonly used terminology, the psychology of processing messages and demonstrating at lot of practical tools for verification of published digital material. Fact-checking as a journalistic genre is about verifying already published material, but the same methods can of course be used in more traditional journalistic work as well.
How was your stay?
I had a pleasant – and busy – stay. I learned a lot from the participants in my trainings. This was my fourth time in Rwanda and I really enjoyed being there, I felt so at home and know quite a few by now. One of the students I taught the first time I was in Rwanda, now works in one of the media houses in our programme and attended the training I had for the local media houses.
The programme has led Annelie to apply for a job at Fojo Media Institute – she is now the Programme Manager stationed in Rwanda (updated on January 26, 2023).