Who We Are
The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) and the Independent Radio Network (IRN-SL), with support from the United Nations Development Programme and BBC Media Action are implementing the iVerify fact checking initiative. This is a technology based, multi-stakeholder initiative for identifying and mitigating misinformation, disinformation and hate speech during the 2023 electoral process and beyond in Sierra Leone.
The initiative is responding to the growing trend of people sharing and accessing unverified information over the years. In an increasingly confused information environment, mis/disinformation potentially undermines the integrity of democratic processes.
When the information environment during elections is characterized by false information, the public at large are denied an opportunity to appreciate the electoral choices available and this can undermine the electoral process and environment. Misinformation and disinformation can raise alarm and trigger conflict. Good journalism can be obstructed as it can be difficult to tell the difference between false information and the truth.
As part of contribution to the broader multi-stakeholder response to misinformation, disinformation and the spread of hate speech, SLAJ and IRN through support from UNDP are leading this fact-checking initiative to bring verified news to the public, including through the broadcasting of the iVerify radio show, and to allow for verification to be requested by each and every citizen before sharing.
BBC Media Action provides support to the iVerify initiative by leading on research and learning; supporting capacity building; and producing social media content to build media literacy and awareness of mis-disinformation.
To allow for wide distribution of verified news, IRN broadcasts a radio show once a week that focuses on verified elections-related content, media literacy and electoral education. Four weeks prior to the election, the frequency will increase to respond to the demand for information as the election draws closer.
What We Believe
The iVerify system is guided by the following principles:
Fact-checking by iVerify members is conducted with the utmost adherence to impartiality, delivering factual and objective information to the citizens.
Fact-checking processes will always be conducted through the application of a specific methodology used by all iVerify members.
iVerify commits to disclose consulted sources and adheres to an honest retraction policy.