CfA CLIMATE CHANGE FACT-CHECKER FELLOWSHIP IMPACT
Written by Odhiambo Shem on May 18, 2023
The month of August 2022, specifically the 16th day, was one of the best days in my career as a journalist and mostly as a fact-checker. The e-mail from Esther Wanza at 4.26pm EAT about being successfully selected as part of the CfA Climate Change Fact-Checker Fellowship marked a new stage in my life as a fact-checker and an opportunity to challenge myself and learn more from the masters of the art.
Since the day one of onboarding, 22nd August 2022, I’ve been able to learn and boost my skills in fact-checking, thanks to the trainings that have been organized as a result of this fellowship, and also thanks to my mentors Cathy Wamaitha and Bilal Tairou. Through these two brilliant individuals, I’m better than I was yesterday. Sometimes, I could risk plagiarism without quite knowing but currently, I know better. I can currently write good drafts that do not need any kind of edits.
The trainings have also been impactful in equipping me with new knowledge that I didn’t have before. For instance, I’ve never been so deep into deep fakes and websites, but through this fellowship, I can perfectly dive into that and do a perfect job. I’ve always regarded climate journalism as tough and challenging, more so fact-checking and I had a lot of challenges at the start, especially through getting claims, but so far, I embrace it at it has made it to the list of my favorite stories going forward, as it has challenged me and dug me out of my comfort zone.
My fellows at our fact-checking desk, have also embraced climate change fact-checking and despite the fact that they haven’t started working on them, but they have shown the interest and sometimes help me in identifying claims and I am confident that we’ll continue working on them even after this fellowship comes to an end. The training from the fellowship has also been trickled down to other members of the fact-checking desk and despite being only three, we are together building a strong desk.
The fellowship has also helped us boost our content more so on the digital platforms and also improve our visibility. We have improved our experience on Facebook as evident below.
Our reach, as well as engagement have also improved since the start of this fellowship.
Our twitter handle has also witnessed improvement since the start of this fellowship.
Our organization website has also experienced some improvements through improved content, and receiving new visitors traffic since the start of this project, as evident through google analytics.
This project has so far been of great impact both to me as an individual, as well as the organization at large.