Journalists urged to adapt AI tools to mitigate fake news and enhance work

Journalists urged to adapt AI tools to mitigate fake news and enhance work
Madam Maud Ashong Elliot

By Hannah Dadzie

Journalists have been advised to adapt Artificial Intelligence, AI to mitigate fake news, online privacy and abuse against women. 

Speaking at a Digital Literacy and Skills Training Workshop by the Media Foundation for West Africa, a Lecturer, IT Department, University of Professional Studies and Vice President of Internet Society Ghana, Maud Ashong Elliot said as the world is evolving, AI has come to stay, therefore Ghanaians, especially journalists, must come to terms with it to facilitate their work and stay safe online. 

The workshop, organized by the Media Foundation for West Africa with support from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, seeks to train and build the capacity of at least 200 women across Ghana in digital literacy skills.

Participants were equipped with skills in searching, investigating, and processing information using digital AI tools.

The workshop also helped participants stay safe online and identify and deal with online abuse.

Programmes Manager for Digital Rights, Media Foundation for West Africa, Vivian Affoah threw more light on the workshop.

“Many studies have shown that there is a wide gender gap in the access and utilization of digital platforms in Ghana, and so this project is aimed at reducing the gender digital divide, helping women to stay safe online. It is also aimed at empowering women with digital tools and better their lifes and improve their work.” Madam Affoah

A Lecturer, IT Department, University of Professional Studies and Vice President of Internet Society Ghana, Maud Ashong Elliot, who took participants through social media and online privacy, said it is important to create an enabling internet environment for women to access and use the Internet to their benefits.

“There are bad people out there and it’s so important for us to protect our privacy; else everything about us will be out there and people could use that against us. You are liable for whatever you post online, think about it again before you press the enter button. As journalists we must be careful especially when we are dealing with online news, the internet does not forget so we must be sure that what we are publishing is the right thing. People are losing jobs because 10 years ago they posted something which was not true, so it’s important that everything we put out must be the right thing, fact-checking,” She noted. 

She said asked journalists to adapt emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) to make their work easier.

“We have to get used to it because it is here. We are saying that there are tools now to help, so why don’t we find out get to know them use them and then make life ok for ourselves. ” Mrs Ashong Elliott  said

She advocated for raising awareness and educating people on online abuse and strengthening platform policies and their enforcement.  

Some of the participants spoke with GBCNEWS, expressed their excitement, and called for more of such workshops to enhance their work.

“I’m glad to be part of this workshop, I learnt lot about how to use the AI tools like ChatGPT, Jasper and the rest. I pray and hope there will be more of this for female journalists”. A participant

“As a matter of fact, being a part of this program organized by the Media Foundation for West Africa, I have really helped a lot. This is not the first time I have been part of such a program, and it has really helped me. Now I’ve been able to add on to what I already know, especially AI tools in helping my work as a female Journalist”. I was quite familiar with the ChatGPT until I heard Jasper CHAT, teleprompter, Google Studio, and all that. I believe that this is very helpful and I’m calling for more,” Victor Bekoe Danso, another participant.

“I must say that Media Foundation for West Africa, has helped us the journalist especially myself because it has helped me to identify online abuses against women and how to combat fake news and misinformation with AI tools. To be honest, I just got to know about ChatGPT and Jasper CHAT and I think it has really helped me, and I want to say that we need more of such training to help identify cyberbullying and how to protect ourselves from it,” Salomey Dossu, a participant.

Ghanaians, especially women were urged to log out accounts on any social network after use. They were also asked to be extra vigilant online and be familiar with the privacy settings of any social media site in use.

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