Entries for the 2021 African Fact-Checking Awards, the longest-running awards programme that honours fact-checking journalism by the media in Africa, are now open. Journalists and journalism students across the continent can enter the awards, now in their eighth year.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the accompanying increase in dis- and misinformation led to the growth of fact-checking in Africa and globally. We received a record number of 192 entries from 27 African countries in 2020 and expect this number to rise again this year.
“Through the awards, we want to promote the practice of fact-checking and making accurate information available to citizens of all countries across Africa, which is now more important than ever,” says Noko Makgato, executive director at Africa Check.
“This, we believe, will help the public make informed decisions about important issues related to their health, education, politics and more. Ultimately, we expect that this will strengthen democracy and improve the quality of life across the continent.”
According to Taiwo Adebulu, last year’s winner in the category of Fact-Check of the Year by a Working Journalist, fact-checking keeps political leaders and policymakers on their toes as they know they cannot just “churn out falsehoods” and get away with it. “They know there are journalists whose watchful eyes and swift pens are ready to call them out and let the public know the truth,” says Adebulu.
To qualify, entries must have first been published or broadcast on any date from 23 August 2020 to 31 July 2021. They should expose a claim on an important topic that originated in or is relevant to Africa as either misleading or wrong.
The categories are:
Fact-Check of the Year by a Working Journalist
Fact-Check of the Year by a Student Journalist
One runner-up in each of the two categories above
The winner of the working journalist category will get a prize of US$3,000, while the runner-up will be awarded $1,500. The winner of the student journalist category will get a prize of $2,000, and the runner-up $1,000.
Entries close at midnight GMT on 1 August 2021. For more information as well as the terms and conditions, go to the Africa Check awards page.
For media enquiries only, please send an email to [email protected] or contact Africa Check executive director Noko Makgato on +27 (0)82 377 4807.
Africa Check is a non-profit organisation set up in 2012 to promote accuracy in public debate and the media in Africa. The goal of our work is to raise the quality of information available to society across the continent.