Fact-checking critical to journalism practice - Okunna

Fact-checking critical to journalism practice – Okunna

Former Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Anambra state, Prof. Stella Okunna has described fact checking of reports as critical element to practice of journalism in the country.

She said any journalist engaged in news writing, particularly investigative reporting without fact checking his reports has no business in the profession.

Okunna spoke on Wednesday in Awka at one day training by Ikenga Media and Cultural Awareness Initiative (IMCAI) Training for Journalists on “Reporting in a treacherous and incurred environment”.

The workshop organised for investigative journalists in South East was supported by MacArthur Foundation and facilitated by Wole  Soyinka Investigative Journalism.

Delivering a paper tilted, “Fundamentals of News investigative reporting/fact checking Okunna in co-presentation with a lecturer in Mass Communication department, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Dr Henry Duru, maintained that fact checking of stories has become the way to go as long as journalism practice in Nigeria was concerned.

“People can no longer create news without first fact checkng their stories. Every journalist must fact check his stories  before publishing. 

“Don’t take anything for granted and if you can not fact-check your stories, look for another thing to do,” she added.

Okunna, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics), Paul University Awka, however noted that investigative journalism had certain hazards and risks that accompanied it, but added that the benefits outweighed the risks.

Fact-checking critical to journalism practice - Okunna 1

Another resource person, Mr Uzor Maxim Uzoatu, in his own paper on Ethical issues: what kind of news is news, described investigative journalism as hallmark of societal development.

He underscored the importance of upholding the ethics of journalism profession to excel in the industry.

Earlier, Editor-in-Chief of Ikenga online, Mr Uche Ugboajah noted that the medium was established in 2022 to give voice to the Southeast following its under-reportage.

He said the training was part of the organization’s plans to build the capacity of journalists in the zone, as well as help in promoting good governance, gender equality, inclusion of people living with disabilities, among others.

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