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Upper East Regional Peace Council commends A1 Radio for being Upper East Region’s most reliable news source

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A1 Radio, a subsidiary of the Agreed Best Communication Company, has been recognised as the Upper East Region’s top news portal for credible news. The Upper East Regional Peace Council observed that the media outlet, based in the Upper East Regional capital, Bolgatanga, had carved out a niche as the region’s top news content provider.

The Upper East Regional Executive Secretary of the National Peace Council, Ali Anankpieng, said this when he spoke on A1 Radio’s Mark Smith on the Day Break Upper East Show today, Thursday, March 30, 2023. 

“I don’t want to be heaping praises on you, but for example, in the Upper East Region, there is nothing that would happen that A1 Radio would not report on. You have your people on the ground. You are able to check the accuracy of the things you are reporting on.”

“So if I am reading something about the Upper East Region and I google it and I don’t see it being reported by A1 or GBC, then I should just know that nothing like that [may] have happened.”

Additionally, on the Bawku conflict, Mr. Anankpieng cited national media outlets like GBC, the Ghanaian Times, Citi News, and the Multimedia Group as credible outlets. 

Mr. Anankpieng was worried that very often, information shared on social media and other unreliable media platforms harmed peace processes in the Bawku area. 

“Social media has its good and bad aspects. What we have seen is that people are in a rush to publish whatever they hear about Bawku. That would often turn out not to be true. That is the worry. Some of the information that is published by people who have nothing to do with the conflict. They are not even on the ground to know what is happening there. If you rely on the information they publish, you are likely to report something that is not true about the situation. We normally would advise that in situations like that, if you want to rely on social media for your news, then know how to verify the information before you can also spread it.”

“As ordinary people, there are simple ways of verifying. If something is reported from Bawku and it is really something serious, it will be reported by major news media. If you Google it and you do not see it on such platforms, then just know that this is likely not to be true. For example, if something is happening in Bawku and it is so serious, and you Google it, you are likely to see it being reported by GBC, Joy News, Citi News, Times, GNA. These are media houses that, at least, we can vouch for in terms of their ability and professionalism,” he said.

For journalists covering the Bawku conflict, the Peace Council, according to Mr. Anankpieng, has recommended that “you do conflict sensitive reporting. If you do conflict sensitive reporting, then you are one that is likely to verify information before you publish. If you are not conflict sensitive and you report on something that is not true, you can in fact inflame the already tense situation in Bawku.”

Mr. Anankpieng’s engagement with A1 Radio was part of the media outlet’s collaboration with the Media Foundation for West Africa to educate Upper East Region residents about the countering misinformation and disinformation.

Recently, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) trained 125 journalists across the country on fact-checking and countering mis-disinformation in Ghana. The purpose of the two-day training series was to expose the journalists to concepts such as information disorder, fake news, and misinformation, how pervasive they are, how they manifest, as well as their impact on peace and democratic governance.

The second component of the training provided a deep dive into some fact-checking and verification tools that can be used to identify and counter misinformation, as well as fact-checking standards and ethics. In Tamale, the journalists were brought together from the Upper East, Upper West, Northern, North East, Savannah, and Bono East regions. Similar training was organised in Kumasi, Ho, and Accra.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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