2
0
1
9

Ahead of African elections, unlock partnerships with fact-checkers

“In Africa, about 13 countries, including Senegal, Botswana, Namibia, Senegal, Nigeria, South Africa and Guinea, will hold general elections at some point in the coming year.”

In the wake of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, much of the focus in the subsequent months has been on Cambridge Analytica and how fake news has the power to shape and sway perceptions. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp have become an approach for politicians to manipulate the truth, spread misinformation, falsehood and fake news.

In reflecting on the past two years of trying to get to the bottom of the connection between the Russians and the Trump campaign, and in an attempt to not have history repeat itself in any way similar, news organizations will make fact-checking a number one priority during the upcoming elections. In as much as it is the responsibility of the media to corroborate information and have articles go through thorough fact-checking processes before publishing, it has become a difficult and challenging task.

In 2019, numerous countries will be holding general/presidential elections. In Africa, about 13 countries, including Senegal, Botswana, Namibia, Senegal, Nigeria, South Africa and Guinea, will hold general elections at some point in the coming year. News organizations will attempt to be on top of their news coverage in many respects, from verifying and accurately testing claims made by politicians throughout the campaigning period, up until the publication of results.

Most recently, at least 16 Nigerian news organizations launched an election fact-checking project called CrossCheck Nigeria in an attempt to combat misinformation before elections next year. The platform will get over 50 journalists working across print, broadcast and online media to work together to investigate, verify and disprove erroneous claims, particularly on social media.

Another more well-known fact-checking platform is Africa Check, with its largest office based in South Africa. The organization does not necessarily partner with news organizations, but their aim is to hold public figures accountable for what they say in the public arena. Africa Check also has what they call “Promise Trackers” that gauge whether governments in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya are keeping the promises they made during the elections.

With all that said, covering elections on the African continent will be challenging but also exciting. African journalists covering elections will mean that news organizations should not show favor for any politician or political party, that journalists will work extremely hard publishing accurately tested information, and that the readers of this media can be assured that the information they are consuming is accurate and reliable.

Tshepo Tshabalala is the editor for the Journalism and Media Lab at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.

Amy Schmitz Weiss   Local news isn’t where you thought it was

Tyler Fisher   This is journalism’s do-or-die moment

Lauren Katz   Community becomes a core newsroom value

Carolina Guerrero   Spanish-language audio blows up

Alexandra Svokos   Good luck convincing us millennials to pay

Julie Posetti   The year of the fight back

Kainaz Amaria   We consider who’s behind the camera

John Garrett   You can’t raise prices forever

Becca Aaronson   From bridge roles to product thinkers

Tim Carmody   Unlocking the commons

Claire Wardle   Forget deepfakes: Misinformation is showing up in our most personal online spaces

Thomas Hanitzsch   The rise of tribal journalism

Cătălina Albeanu   Being responsible for what we don’t know

Jeff Chin   We detox from Chartbeat

Renée Kaplan   Our future could lie within our own organizations

Axie Navas   The traffic hunt, CMS battle, and magazine identity crises loom

Raney Aronson-Rath   We learn “digital” doesn’t have to mean “short”

Joshua Darr   The nationalization of political news will accelerate

Elizabeth Jensen   Going where the Acela can’t take you

Cindy Royal   For journalism curriculum to change, its faculty needs disruption

Shalabh Upadhyay   A culture clash on India’s growing Internet

Simon Rogers   Data journalism becomes a global field

Andrew Ramsammy   The great re-pivot to audio

Kate Myers   Journalism continues to be bad for democracy

Joel Konopo   Influencers become the new liberated power in Africa

Jonathan Stray   More algorithmic accountability reporting, and a lot of it will be meh

Gabriel Snyder   Journalism doesn’t fit well in a funnel

Eric Nuzum   The year of the DIY podcast network

Steve Myers   From trying to cover it all to covering what matters

Kelsey Proud   Journalism becomes the escape

Elva Ramirez   News — but make it cinematic

Dheerja Kaur   A focus on problems, not platforms

Ben Smith   The pendulum starts to swing back

Frank Mungeam   Tonight at 11: News, sports, and climate change

Kawandeep Virdee   Media wants to take care of you

Alexis Lloyd & Matt Boggie   The year product leads media

Julia Rubin   Meeting people where they are

Annie Rudd   A more intimate aesthetic of politics — on Insta

Zainab Khan   Publishers whose products can stand up to social media giants will win

Charo Henríquez   Pivot to journalism

Steve Grove   A reckoning for tech’s work with news

Jesse Holcomb   We’ll get better at making the case for local journalism

Matthew Pressman   The battle over objectivity intensifies

Andrew Donohue   Voting rights becomes the new climate change

Bill Adair   Another year fighting Trump’s falsehoods

Steve Henn   Smart speakers get smarter

Francesco Zaffarano   Towards a rethinking of journalism on social media

Robert Hernandez   Racists and sexists get replaced

Efrat Nechushtai   Journalism wants to be your friend, not your teacher

Jim Friedlich   Meet Citizen Kane 2.0

Celeste LeCompte   Local news needs local conversation to survive

Jesse Brown   Canada’s subsidy for news backfires

Hossein Derakhshan   The news is dying, but journalism will not — and should not

Victor Pickard   We will finally confront systemic market failure

Marie Shanahan   Newsrooms take the comments sections back from platforms

Rick Berke   The year of loyalty

Jean Friedman Rudovsky   Cross-newsroom collaborations strengthen communities

Glyn Mottershead and Martin Chorley   When a tech company pulls the plug on your story

Mariana Moura Santos   From pageviews to impact

Hearken   Pivot to people

Nikki Usher   Three ways national media will further undermine trust

Rachel Glickhouse   Newsrooms will prioritize audience needs

Don Day   Timewalls and other reader revenue experiments

Angèle Christin   Algorithms and the reflexive turn

Chase Davis   We can acknowledge what we don’t know

Errin Haines Whack   Say it with me: Racism

Seth C. Lewis   The gap between journalism and research is too wide

Francesco Marconi   The year of iterative journalism

Peter Bale   Venture capital runs out of patience

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   A long, slow slog, with no one coming to the rescue

Stephanie Edgerly   It’s time to understand the un-audience

Michael Rain   The year of the culturally relevant curator

Salem Solomon   Correcting our corrections

Rishad Patel   A design system for responsible publishing

Matt Waite   “I went to Node.js because I wished to live deliberately”

Linda Solomon Wood   The year of the climate reporter

Jenée Desmond-Harris   It finally sinks in that some people aren’t white

Josh Schwartz   A pullback from platforms and a focus on product

Carrie Brown-Smith   Advocating a healthy civic life is no journalistic crime

Soo Oh   Just showing our work isn’t enough

Mike Caulfield   Ditch the media literacy cynicism and get to work

Seema Yasmin   We will create our own spaces

Cory Bergman   Journalism as a technology service

Nathalie Malinarich   Video — yes, video

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Readers are only getting started

Alyssa Zeisler   We expand what (and how and who) we serve

Pia Frey   You can’t solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis

Manoush Zomorodi   Tech will do for information overload what it did for mindfulness

Heba Aly   The rise of international nonprofit news

Jared Newman   AI-generated fakes launch a software arms race

Joe Amditis   Give the audience a seat at the table

P. Kim Bui   The misfits become the bosses

Adam B. Ellick   Video forensic reporting goes mainstream — and local

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams   Podcasting battles East Coast bias

Matt Karolian   Publishers come to terms with being Facebook’s enablers

Callie Schweitzer   The rise of the conveners

Nicholas Jackson   More transparency around newsroom decisions

Nico Gendron   Reaching Generation Z beyond the coasts

Jack Riley   Facebook refugees, from ad revenue to news habits

Sarah Marshall   A return to destination journalism

Elisabeth Goodridge   Yes, they signed up — but our job’s not over

Meredith Artley   Huge demand for…anything but politics

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting is media’s slow food movement

Monique Judge   Committing to the truth, calling out lies

Heather Chaplin   Agree we’re partisan — for the democratic system

Kristen Muller   Local news fails — in a good way

Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau   A more sincere definition of “community”

Logan Molyneux   Seeing social media for what it is

Mike Isaac   The old exit doors for digital media companies are closing

Mandy Jenkins   Fight the urge to run away from social media

Jonas Kaiser   Catching up with “Neuland”

Jonathan Gill   Publishers build a common tech platform together

Ole Reißmann   The rise of vertical storytelling

Emma Carew Grovum   The year of the loyal reader

Cristi Hegranes   A year to invest in the security of local journalists

Sarah Alvarez   Simplify and redistribute

Gideon Lichfield   Goodbye attention economy, we’ll miss you

Simon Galperin   After capitalism’s fire, journalism’s secondary succession

Mandy Velez   Putting the social back in social media

John Biewen   Podcasts keep getting better

Knight Foundation   A year of local collaboration

Almar Latour   Reported facts, weaponized in service of action

Alberto Cairo   A year of uncertainty and confidence

Bill Grueskin   Toward a symphony model for local news

Umbreen Bhatti   The story doesn’t end for the people we quote

Heather Bryant   We are responsible for how we use our power

Rubina Madan Fillion   Fighting the reality of deepfakes

Kevin Douglas Grant   A year to embrace journalism as public service

Angilee Shah   The year news orgs say “yes” to real leaders

Zuzanna Ziomecka   News leadership gets an overdue upgrade

Reyhan Harmanci   Selling more stories to Hollywood

LaToya Drake   Listen up: New stories, new storytellers

Michael Grant   More newsrooms experiment their way to success

Zizi Papacharissi   Old interface, say hello to the new interface

Candis Callison   Learn from Indigenous journalists on covering climate change

Stefanie Murray   Local news wakes up and starts collaborating

Renan Borelli   Developing loyalty means developing your talent

Craig Newmark   The end of “loudspeakers for liars”

Rodney Gibbs   A bright — and young — year for audio

Kjerstin Thorson   Time to get mad about information inequality (again)

Borja Bergareche Sainz de los Terreros   Entering a more balanced era

Alexandra Borchardt   Newsrooms need to build trust with their journalists, not just the audience

M. Scott Havens   Time to swing for the fences

Ernie Smith   The year we step back from the platform

Talia Stroud   Engaging people across lines of difference

Adam Thomas   In Europe, foundations invest in news

John Saroff   The pivot to reader revenue’s unintended consequences

Dave Burdick   Seeing our blind spots

Whitney Phillips   Our information systems aren’t broken — they’re working as intended

Adam Smith   Platforms will have to help rebuild trust in news

Millie Tran   There is no magic — you’ve got this

Kyra Darnton   A shift to depth in video

Amy King   We should listen to the kids (especially on Instagram)

Rebecca Lee Sanchez   We are all actors in the running rampant of political theater

Dan Shanoff   Bet on sports gambling

Jeremy Gilbert   AI finally becomes helpful

Carl Bialik   Fatigued news consumers will pay more for less news

Moreno Cruz Osório   Damaged credibility and a new threat in Brazil

Sarah Stonbely   Mapping the local news ecosystem — with scale but detail

Taylor Lorenz   Personal branding is more powerful than ever

Peter Cunliffe-Jones   The focus of misinformation debates shifts south

Elizabeth Dunbar   Local reporters reflect on what’s not important

Geetika Rudra   The year of actionable (local) journalism

Jennifer Dargan   You don’t build diversity through one-off training sessions

Nisha Chittal   The homepage makes a comeback

Joanne McNeil   Building a digital hospice

Andrea Faye Hart   Doing less harm, not just more good

Rebecca Searles   From silos to Swiss Army knife teams

An Xiao Mina   The death of consensus, not the death of truth

james Wahutu   Think 2018 was bad? Wait until you see 2019

Eric Ulken   The year you actually start to like your CMS

Cherian George   Fake news wins in Asia

Justin Kosslyn   Text hits a tipping point

Robin Kwong   Tech shouldn’t be the only field pollinating “news nerds”

Sue Robinson   Reporters go on the offensive

Winny de Jong   Data journalism goes undercover

Greg Emerson   Power to the user

Tamar Charney   Seriously: What do you do for people?

Christa Scharfenberg and Vickie Baranetsky   The year of the lawsuit

A.J. Bauer   The coming splintering of conservative media

Matt Skibinski   Quality and reliability are the new currencies for publishers

Ruth Palmer and Benjamin Toff   From news fatigue to news avoidance

Rachel Davis Mersey   Local news goes minimalist

Masuma Ahuja   Make foreign coverage less foreign

Shannon McGregor   More bogus embedded tweets in our stories

Mike Rispoli and Craig Aaron   Government funds local news — and that’s a good thing

Tushar Banerjee   Interactive ads will be the new face of display advertising

Elite Truong   What do we owe the next generation?

Ben Werdmuller   The platform tide is turning

Libby Bawcombe   Haikus of the news

Mat Yurow   Content competition from the tech companies

Johannes Klingebiel   We all grow hooves

Pablo Boczkowski   Reimagining the media for post-institutional times

Laura E. Davis   More access, but not that kind

Colleen Shalby   Representation becomes more than a talking point

Mario García   The rise of content “pilots”

Brian Moritz   The subscription-pocalypse is about to hit

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   The most beautiful sentence in 2019 is “No.”

Frank Chimero   Leave the phone at home and put news on your wrist

Patrick Butler   Measuring impact will increase audience trust

Ståle Grut   A new dawn for 3D tech in journalism

Sue Cross   Return of the water cooler

Darryl Holliday   Let’s talk about power (yours)

Ariel Zirulnick   Participation gets professional

Tshepo Tshabalala   Ahead of African elections, unlock partnerships with fact-checkers