Don’t be lazy, and 15 other random writing tips for journalists

I am very suspicious of the notion that I have something valuable to teach others. So you must understand how difficult it is for me to write an article like this because who am I to presume I have enough expertise to tell others what to do and what to avoid? But then, if I’ve …

From tiny sparks to wildfires: How misinformation sprouts in the internet era

The spread of misinformation on the internet can be likened to a wildfire. It begins with a spark. Then, it is picked up by another thing that catches fire and continues to spread until everyone is talking about it. As a researcher, you come across this fact, and because it is featured in so many …

Innovative approaches to media literacy in the fight against misinformation

A lot of resources have been invested in getting journalists to do more fact-checking. But increasingly, we’re realising that it is not enough to verify claim after claim. It is not even enough to go after disinformation networks and get hundreds of bot accounts suspended from various social media websites. We also need to boost …

Why I started journaling and why you should too, according to my journal

January 5, 2020. 21:11. I’m hoping this will be worth it. And fun. This is my first diary entry. I’m late to the party, I know, having been born over two decades ago. This feels weird already. Not sure why. Maybe because it’s like I’m giving an account of myself to myself. And I’m not …

Sudanese Doctors Diagnosed Their Country And Prescribed A Revolution

When Mohammed Nagi Alassam enrolled in medical school, it would have been hard to imagine him as one of the faces of a revolution that would years later, change the course of his country.  Sudan has huddled under the boots of dictators for many years. Backed by Islamists, in 1989, Omar al-Bashir, then a 45-year-old …

The IPOB Diaspora Network Pushing Disinformation In Nigeria

One name that comes up often in the war against disinformation in Nigeria is the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a separatist organisation whose controversial campaign has ripped through Nigeria’s airwaves and internet spaces for over a decade. Despite multiple attempts to muffle its message, it has continued to have a powerful presence both on …

Chased By Terrorists, Caught By The Military: Two Sides Of An Ugly War

Boko Haram wanted Adam Lawan dead.  As a politician and vigilante, he represented everything they detested: allegiance to democratic rule and brazen defiance of the group’s armed insurgency. So they went after him each time they raided Uta, a village in Bama, northeastern Nigeria. But Adam was lucky to escape the attempts on his life.  The …

Civil Society Groups Rise To Safeguard Sudan’s Shaky Transition To Democracy

When in Dec. 2018, the people of Sudan thronged the streets to protest a failing economy, they met a resistance that reminded them they were also victims of an autocracy that had succeeded for far too long. So, they cranked up their demands, concerning themselves not only with the unattainable prices of bread and fuel, …

Tragedy On The Road To Maiduguri’s Cattle Market

One cool morning many Septembers ago, Goni set out on a long journey to the urban capital of Borno with a few personal items, three companions, and a healthy herd of goats. He was going to sell the livestock at the Maiduguri Cattle Market, use the proceeds to buy fabrics, and then head back home …