New generation of Ethiopians learn about misinformation and fake-news in social media

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A programme working to enhance awareness of misinformation and fake-news among youth has been held at the Bahirdar University. The programme reached more than 400 media literacy trainees from high school and universities across Amhara, Oromia, Sidama and the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR).

The programme is a 12-month programme for eight high schools and eight universities. Fojo – IMS are one of very few initiatives practically working on the matter of misinformation and fake news in Ethiopa. The 12-month programme focuses on high school and university students from eight high schools and eight universities in the cities of Gondor, Dessie, Debremarkos, Ambo, Adama, Jimma, Hawassa and Dilla.

“Their capacity to understand the nature of misinformation in social media, and the need for critical consumption and fact checking from a diversity of sources, is most important for the more active users in the new generation of Ethiopians” says Elsabeth Samuel, lead programme officer at Fojo-IMS.

The initiative has so far developed a media literacy training manual presenting the basics of media literacy in Amharic and Afar. The manual can be used as input in creating a curriculum and mobile application presenting the basics of media literacy in Amharic and Afar. The manual will be produced as a hard copy of the training guideline in English, Amharic, Afar and Oromo for further use in the same initiatives. The team has also created a Telegram group for the trainees, in which they can continue interacting and sharing information regarding media literacy and their lived experience about disinformation and content consumption from online and offline sources.