During a May 2018 YALICHAT, active YALI Network members were invited to ask a panel of journalists their questions on media literacy as part of #YALIChecks. The panel included Cathy Mohlahlana, Lee Mwiti, and Nickolaus Bauer, who were hosted by the Africa Regional Media Hub located in Johannesburg, South Africa. They were asked a range of questions on their roles as journalists, fake news, and how viewers can be better media consumers. Read the questions and watch the responses below.
Does “shock sell” in the news?
Media needs to inform, but it also needs to entertain. Is part of the problem the fact that “shock sells” and you need to be entertaining? In other words, to make headlines, to go viral? Is that a driving problem for some media outlets? Or is the problem just that people aren’t taking the individual time for verification?
How can we ensure the safety and freedom of journalists?
In some countries, journalists are commonly abused for their views relating to politics and corruption. What can the international community do to ensure greater freedom of opinion for journalists around the world and safer environments for reporting?
Can fake news be removed from social media?
What can be done to take fake news out of social media? #YALIChecks tries to provide members of the YALI Network with relevant skills and tools, and to empower them to spread those skills and tools in their own communities. But thinking more broadly, beyond #YALIChecks, can anything be done to get fake news out of social media?
Journalists’ advice on verifying information
As journalists, what are the steps you take to verify information? Are there specific tools beyond stop, reflect, and verify?
How do the rules journalists follow help news consumers?
When radio is your main way to get news, how can it be verified?
Nearly every household In Africa -— between 80% and 90% -— has access to a radio set, which means many people get their news from this medium. If you live in a very rural area, and you get most of your news from the radio, how does one “stop, reflect, and verify” the news they are hearing?
Being a smart news consumer means taking time to stop, reflect and verify news, opinion, and photos before sharing them on social media or WhatsApp. Become an active YALI Network member and stay up-t0-date on upcoming events and campaigns.