Fact-Check Ghana is a fact-checking project of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) being implemented with funding support from the Netherlands Embassy.
Why the Project:
The project is aimed at contributing to ensure that electoral campaign claims, messages and assertions by candidates and contesting parties are fact-based to enable voters make informed voting choices. Beyond the elections, the project will help ensure that duty-bearers and leaders are truthful in their claims and accountable to the governed.
Justification for the Project
During electioneering campaigns political parties and candidates make claims, counter claims, accusations and promises. Claims made during such periods may often be false, misleading or even ridiculous. Nonetheless, such claims and allegations have the potential (and indeed, are sometimes made deliberately) to mislead the electorate.
In previous elections, claims by contending parties and candidates have often passed unchecked and thus inured to the benefit of those who made erroneous claims. Giving that claims have not been fact-checked in past elections, candidates and parties continue to resort to false messages, propaganda and unrealistic promises, which tend to deceive the voting population, particularly the largely illiterate voters.
Much of the information is disseminated in the media with little or no effort at verification of claims made by politicians by the media. Such developments undermine the ability of voters to make the right voting decisions.
As a response to the above context, the MFWA with support from the Netherlands Embassy is implementing this project to fact-check claims and assertions by political actors ahead of Ghana’s Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
This will be done by tracking what contesting candidates and their officials say and fact-checking same to determine the accuracy/truthfulness or otherwise of the claims.
What is the Approach
A dedicated team of experienced journalists and researchers have been recruited and trained for the exercise. A fact-checking Instrument has also been developed, and a digital system (website, digital tools, software etc.) developed and deployed for the exercise. Fact-checkers have back-ups from MFWA’s international partners to help resolve any challenges throughout the period.