Introducing the Fact-checking and Digital Rights Fellows

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#defyhatenow South Sudan is pleased to announce the selection of four successful candidates for the two-month Fact-checking, and Digital Rights Fellowship slated for September 19, 2022.

The candidates made it through a competitive interview conducted by a selection committee from #defyhatenow South Sudan with support from the Human Resource Department. The quadruple, drawn mainly from the media and academic fraternities, include Ghai Aketch, Beatrice Amude Paulino, Jibi Moses, and Ochaya Jackson.

But far from names, there is more to know about the fellows, professionally and academically.

Ghai Aketch is a news reporter with Sawa Sawa Network. He covers stories on environment, youth, education, peace implementation, and humanitarian situations in South Sudan.

Before joining Fact-checking and Digital Rights Fellowship, Aketch worked as a photographer and technical studio operator for KU-TV Kenya. He also worked for Jhpiego-John Hopkins University affiliate as a supervisor for outreach programs.

Additionally, he volunteered for humanitarian organizations, working as an English language teacher in various refugee camps in Uganda. His work experience in the humanitarian sector has helped him better understand issues affecting communities and the role of digital media in storytelling, healing, and peace-building.

Beatrice Amude Paulino is a media monitor at 211 Check, #defyhatenow South Sudan. She is a working journalist and a member of the South Sudanese Female Journalist Network (FJN).

Beatrice is creative, has research abilities, is adaptable and eager to learn, and has excellent communication skills.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from the University of Juba and an Advanced Certificate in Journalism from the South Sudanese Media Development Institute (MDI).

Jibi Moses is an administrator, public health practitioner, and humanitarian with five years of experience. Moses is also a skilled researcher and certified fact-checker. He describes himself as a creative, resourceful, and flexible individual able to adapt to changing priorities while maintaining a positive attitude and strong work ethic. He’s a clear and logical communicator who can establish rapport with supervisors, colleagues, and individuals to achieve organizational and personal goals.

Moses graduated with a Bachelor of Public Administration from Kampala International University. With an Advanced Certificate in Public health from Ristal Institute Juba. He currently works as a program manager for Junub Youth Action Network (JYAN).

Ochaya Jackson Amos is a University of Juba student pursuing a Bachelor of Art in Development Communication. He is a certified Fact-Checker and has been a media practitioner. Jackson is also interested in research, and information technology, which he is passionate about.

Emmanuel Bida, the program coordinator, said fellows would be placed in either 211 Check or SafetyComm South Sudan to undertake practical activities around fact-checking and digital rights issues. The offices are at Hai Malakal and Munuki in the capital Juba.

He said fellows would also undertake extensive social media monitoring to spot dis/misinformation, hate speech, and cyber threats and respond in a prescribed format. Fellows will also investigate dis/misinformation campaigns, scams, and hoaxes and, where necessary, draft and publish reports.

Other activities that would be undertaken during the fellowship program, Bida said, range from report writing to submission of relevant reports as may be required by the supervisor.

“The fellows will be required to conduct high-impact research and write briefs, reports,

responses, blogs, articles, and other documents around fact-checking and digital rights issues. They will convene stakeholders working on fact-checking and digital rights issues to

enable an exchange of ideas and facilitate learning from each other,” he said.

The fellowship is being carried out in the context of the Africa Digital Rights Fund (ADRF) with support from the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA).

It is also part of the commitment by #defyhatenow South Sudan to empower citizens on digital rights and countering disinformation and misinformation that scale back societal progress.

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