Debunk Media Initiative is a non-profit media start-up in Kampala Uganda that focuses on media literacy and fact-checking to enable youths to make informed decisions.
From this program, five of the trainees were inspired to start the first-ever fact-checking organisation in Uganda – Debunk Media Initiative, a non-profit media start-up at the MCI Media Hub that focuses on fact-checking to enable African youths to make informed decisions.
For the past two years, Debunk has successfully innovated around fact-checking by introducing the Debunk Fact checking Bot, a software that demystifies false information in real-time through the use of an active Whatsapp number.
The team has also produced five seasons of the Debunk Show, a fact-checking video series where experts in Uganda verify misinformation around health, human rights, African stereotypes and current affairs.
In addition, this team has also trained over 250 fellow young journalists in fact-checking in different universities in Uganda.
This was backed by winning a grant under the Digital Human Rights Lab in 2021 and in 2022 an innovation program under Media Features innovation program run by the Media Innovation Centre in Kenya in partnership with MCI in Uganda.
The team has partnered with rural radio stations to localise fact-checking and incorporate it in radio programs and has since translated the fact checks into three local languages for the non-English speaking Ugandans to access factual information.
We can’t wait to witness how our story will unfold in the next coming years… and are definitely looking forward to what the future holds!
It is evident that misinformation has the potential to fool users, mislead, and cause harm to all people whether educated or not. This is evident by the ease with which information can now be shared with large numbers of people, both online and offline which increases the stakes and places the need to address this challenge.
The media today is grappling with diverse issues like the tension between traditional media gatekeepers (e.g. editors and journalists) and Internet-media users, statutory limitations, political interference, fake news, Artificial intelligence and ‘deep fakes’, misinformation, the infordemic and we know it has become very difficult to navigate the media today.
We provide some practical approaches to young people to critically analyse the media and refine their abilities to effectively counter fake news by using various media literacy and fact-checking tools. We believe the media is an essential tool in enforcing justice, fostering fundamental human rights and holding those in power accountable.
Join us to create the media that youths want, through constructive dialogue, open conversations, accurate and correct information and media literacy to ensure access to factual information as a fundamental human right.
A world where people access factual information in real-time to make informed decisions.
To enhance the capacity and competence of the media, youths, leaders and communities to address the challenge of misinformation.
What We Do
- We train young African youths in media and information literacy to promote access to accurate information and conduct fact-checking training for media and journalism students to counter disinformation across universities in Uganda.
- We launched the Debunk Fact Checking Bot to allow access to factual information among young people and to promote direct engagement with experts on human rights, democracy, education, health, and gender among others.
- We run a residential fact-checking fellowship accorded to the most critical student journalists to enable evidence-based reporting using fact-checking and media literacy skills obtained from the training.
- We continue to produce our fact-checking series dubbed the Debunk show, a multimedia series that exposes underlying myths and misconceptions in various rural communities in Uganda and exposes participants to critical media skills essential for the smooth reporting of evidence-based stories in media today.
- We partner with rural radio stations to localise fact-checking and incorporate it in radio programs and have since translated the fact checks into three local languages for the non-English speaking Ugandans to access factual information.