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Misinformation Awareness Among Journalists Covering Politics in Nigeria: Implications for Democratic Institutions in North-east Nigeria


This study examined Misinformation Awareness among Journalists Covering Politics in  Nigeria and its Implications for Democratic Institutions in North-East Nigeria. The objectives  of the study specifically was to; assess the disinformation awareness of journalists reporting  the political beat in Northeast Nigeria; examine the ability of journalists covering politics in  the Northeast to use OSINTs tools to fact check misinformation messages amplified by bots; find out the skills of journalists covering politics in the northeast to identify misinformation  content and determine the implication of political misinformation on the institutions of the  states making up the northeast sub-region. The study selected purposive sampling and surveyed 250 journalists in Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe. The study found that the majority  of working journalists in the northeast have a poor idea about the scourge of misinformation and commensurate OSINT and fact-checking skills to verify misleading content shared by politicians in the region. The study also found that despite the spread of viral and misleading information in northeast Nigeria by many political actors and other influencers, journalists practising in the northeast rarely come across misinformation  because they have a weak understanding of the phenomenon. The study recommends that  media organisations in Nigeria ought to make deliberate efforts to empower their reporters  with verification and fact-checking skills and reporters must make a personal priority to  improve their verification and fact-checking skills to be able to practice journalism as a  calling.

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