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Navigating Truth in the Digital Era

Salone Factchecker emerges in Sierra Leone as a stalwart against misinformation, aiming to counter the spread of false narratives and bolster media literacy. Founded in 2019 by Yeama Sarah Thompson, the Executive Director of Initiatives for Media Development (IMdev), this platform addresses the challenge of veracity in an age dominated by social media.

Inspired by a transformative Edward R. Murrow Fellowship sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Sierra Leone in 2018, Yeama Sarah Thompson channeled her dedication into the establishment of Salone Factchecker (SFC). The initiative seeks to equip Sierra Leoneans with reliable information, encourage discernment of news credibility, and combat the proliferation of misleading content.

Sierra Leone, a fledgling democracy of approximately 7 million citizens in West Africa, has made strides towards press freedom and media development post a tumultuous civil war from 1991 to 2002. The repeal of Section 5 of Sierra Leone’s Civil Law in 2020, criminalizing false speech, marked a pivotal step toward fostering open expression.

However, the rise of digital social media has introduced fresh complexities. Traditional journalism faces dwindling audiences and financial challenges, undermining its ability to provide thorough investigative reporting. Consequently, skepticism towards media has surged, leading to an era of “information disorder.”

Salone Factchecker counters this trend, striving to reestablish credibility and accountability. Notably, the platform gained prominence during Sierra Leone’s 2018 general election, marred by misinformation on social media. Subsequent years have witnessed the tangible consequences of unchecked falsehoods, exacerbating political instability, public health concerns, and social unrest.

As a steadfast guardian of accuracy, Salone Factchecker navigates the intricate landscape of digital information. It stands as a beacon of trustworthy journalism, committed to elevating media literacy and promoting responsible news consumption. In an age where information flows freely but not always reliably, Salone Factchecker remains devoted to illuminating the path with credible, verified, and unbiased information.

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