If that traditional sort of report is something you are thinking of entering the African Fact-Checking Awards with – a word of advice: don’t send it here.

Fact-checking is a new field in journalism and is developing around the world. By April 2020, there were more than 230 fact-checking outlets in nearly 80 countries.

Since Africa Check’s inception in 2012, we have checked close to 1,700 claims in English and French across the continent. To start with, Africa Check itself provides numerous examples of in-depth fact-checks. We also have a “How to fact-check” section on the website that sets out guidance on fact-checking and provides examples. Since our launch, over a dozen other independent fact-checking organisations have emerged in countries like Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and the DRC.

Thanks to TRi Facts, our training, research and information unit, there has also been an uptake of fact-checking in African newsrooms. We have trained more than 3,300 journalists, students and members of civil society in fact-checking since 2015.

 

For inspiration, you can look at some of the reports that won our awards from 2017 to 2019, from a Kenyan pre-election series titled “Before you vote” that fact-checked claims made by politicians in the run-up to the elections to a podcast that checked the accuracy of a Beninese minister’s claim that the state had no obligation in clearing public spaces and relocating illegal occupiers.

In 2018, the winner did an investigation exposing as false the claim that Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, saw a reduction in preschool enrolment

The report written by last year’s winner, also from Nigeria, exposed a minister’s claims about the number of ongoing construction projects in the South-East zone of the country as largely exaggerated. The government later released a new list of infrastructure projects, which excluded the projects flagged in the fact-check.