Event Date and time: October 20 | 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Venue details: South London Gallery | 65-67 Peckham Road | London, SE5 8UH

Organisers: Westminster Institute for Advanced Studies (WIAS) | +44 (20) 7911 5000|

Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI) | 

Event website: Facts and Lies about Africa: A Matter of Life and Death

Event cost: Free

Africa Check and the Africa Media Centre will debate the continued distortion and misrepresentation of Africa in public debate and the media.

Misleading claims about minority populations, replayed in the traditional and social media, have led to everything from xenophobic attacks in South Africa in 2015 to the Rwandan genocide of 1994. False media reports into health problems, such as polio, and supposed cures for diseases from HIV/AIDS to Ebola, have caused unnecessary sickness and death across the continent.

Africa Check, the continent’s first independent fact-checking website, was set up in 2012. It is based at the Journalism Department of the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Today, Africa Check runs four offices – in South Africa, Senegal, Kenya and Nigeria – and fact-checks key claims leading public figures make. Africa Check publishes its findings on its site and in partnership with the wider media.

The organisation is a leading member of International Fact-Checking Network, a grouping of independent fact-checking organisations from around the world.

Peter Cunliffe-Jones, founder of Africa Check, will present a paper focusing on his organisation and the impact its work has had so far. Dr Winston Mano, Director of the Africa Media Centre, will analyse reasons why Africa is misrepresented, its impact on the continent and methods with which researchers can help overcome the problem. The event and discussion will be chaired by Professor Christian Fuchs, who is Director of both the Westminster Institute for Advanced Studies and the Communication and Media Research Institute.

This evening marks the beginning of a series of events carried out by the new partnership between WIAS, Africa Check and Africa Media Centre. Apart from events, the partnership will involve joint research and other activities.

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