National, News

JHR supports fact-checking drive ahead of elections

By Charles K Mark


Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), a Canada-based media organization, launched a two-year initiative to improve access to verified information in the country.

Mary Ajith, the project manager for JHR in South Sudan said the project main focus is to train journalists and civil society organizations in fact-checking and media literacy.

She said the Canadian support comes from the Peace and Stabilization Operation Program (PSOPs).

“So basically, what we will be doing is actually to train journalists and also the civil society organizations on fact-checking and then also do media literacy because there is issue to do with people not knowing how to use the media,” she said.

Ajith emphasized the need to address the misuse of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, which can contribute to the spread of disinformation and hate speech.

Through the project, JHR will provide training to journalists on countering hate speech, as well as educate the public and communities on the responsible use of both traditional and digital media.

The organization aims to increase access to reliable and accurate information, particularly in light of the upcoming elections in South Sudan.

“So, we want people to have access to information, yes; but this should be accurate and reliable information, ethically and professionally written,” Ajith stated.

JHR has partnered with Defy Hate Now, a national organization leading the fact-checking efforts in South Sudan.

Marina Modi, the Executive Director of Defy Hate Now, the organization will utilize their fact-checking tools at the 211Check desk to verify information.

Modi underlined that addressing misinformation, disinformation, and hate speech is not solely the responsibility of the media but also rests on individuals as members of families and communities.

Modi urged everyone to take these matters seriously and emphasized the importance of filtering information to ensure a peaceful community.

“We have been talking about journalists tackling misinformation, disinformation and hate speech. It does not only fall on the shoulders of the media, but it falls on the hands of every person,” she said.

The goal is to ensure accurate and reliable information is accessible to the public, ethically and professionally written.

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