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AFP Foundation launches Africa fact-checking website
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1 November 2012
The first website in Africa set up exclusively to fact-check public debate, www.africacheck.org, has been launched. The website has been devised by the AFP Foundation and will be run in partnership with the journalism department of the University of the Witwatersrand.
'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.'
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.
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