NatureNews launches NatureFact to fact-check misinformation on environment
By Faridat Salifu
Speaking at the launch event in Abuja on Thursday, National Coordinator of Nigeria Fact-checkers Coalition (NFC), Opeyemi Kehinde said NatureFact is a great initiative at this period when the world is faced with the challenge of misinformation around the environment.
He said NatureFact fact-checking platform will play a critical role in combating the pervasive incidents of misinformation and disinformation which are being exacerbated by digital disruption.
Mr. Kehinde congratulated the management of NatureNews for its constant innovation, adding that NatureFact is a unique platform for accessing truthful information.
He urged the NatureFact team to uphold the core principles of fact-checking such as transparency of sources, balance, open correction policies, funding disclosure, and maintaining up-to-date data.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Fact-check Editor of The Cable News, Mr. Lanre Olagunju, said environmental fact-checking is an exciting niche at a time the global conversation is around climate change.
He emphasised the need for the media to fact-check suspicious contents so as to provide the public with truthful information on all issues.
Mr. Olagunju who stressed that fact-checking goes beyond news contents alone added that NatureFact should extend its reach to cover the contents of advertisement on products and services.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the CEO/Editor-in-Chief of NatureNews, Mr. Aliu Akoshile said the launch of NatureFact commemorates the third anniversary of NatureNews newspaper.
He said the groundbreaking fact-checking platform signifies a remarkable step in the NatureNews’ advocacy against misinformation within its thematic focus on environment and climate change.
Mr. Akoshile said NatureFact is committed to ensuring that the public is served with accurate and truthful contents to counter the dysfunctional use of social media and Artificial Intelligence.
Recounting NatureNews’ three-year journey, Mr. Akoshile expressed delight at the indelible strides being recorded by the newspaper leading to its rating as Africa’s No. 1 nature publication.
He said the company has created a robust structure for NatureFact to ensure the fact-checking keeps pace with the growing cases of misinformation and disinformation on environmental issues around the world.
In his remarks, the Managing Director of NatureNews, Mr. Rasheed Yusuf said the NatureFact team is eager to learn and collaborate with the fact-checking community to advance the organization’s mission.
He reiterated that all lovers of the environment will find the new platform very exciting as it will throw light on some popular misgivings around the ecosystem and human habitat.
Also speaking at the launch, the Chief Operating Officer of NatureNews, Mr. Pius Alabi emphasised that the motivation for setting up NatureFact was the alarming prevalence of misinformation and disinformation on climate change and the environment.
He expressed NatureNews’ commitment to joining forces with Nigeria Fact-checkers Coalition to tackle the menace of disinformation through truthful information based on fact-checking.
The Assistant Editor and Head of NatureFact, Daniel Adaji explained how distorted information about nature can harm both humans and animals.
He expressed the hope that NatureFact will become a leader in environmental fact-checking not only in Nigeria but across Africa.
The event which attracted fact-check leaders was also graced by Blessing Otohibi of FactCheckHub.