SLAJ President Leads Community Engagement to Combat Disinformation at Ataya Bases

In a proactive move to address the proliferation of misinformation, the President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Ahmed Sahid Nasralla, spearheaded a significant community engagement initiative, visiting two prominent Ataya Bases in Freetown late last month.

The visit to Lumley Car Park Ataya Base in the far West and Maxwell Street Ataya Base in Wellington in the far East was part of the Combating Disinformation in Sierra Leone’s 2023 electoral cycle project, supported by the National Democratic Institute and funded by Global Affairs Canada. The project aimed to leverage social structures at the community level to actively combat disinformation.

During the visits, Nasralla and his team engaged in meaningful dialogue with community members, emphasizing the importance of countering disinformation and fostering a commitment to truthful information dissemination. The initiative sought to raise awareness and empower communities to discern and counter misinformation effectively.

Addressing approximately 25 young individuals, predominantly men, at the Lumley Ataya Base, Nasralla introduced the Combating Disinformation Project and highlighted the dangers of misinformation, citing incidents that resulted in unrest and loss of lives in various areas. He provided practical examples and introduced trusted news sources to verify information received from different channels.

Community members expressed gratitude for the initiative, with Pa Brima, Chairman of the Attaya Base, pledging to disseminate the information within their community.

At the Maxwell Ataya Base, Nasralla reiterated the importance of countering disinformation across all media channels and engaged in a lively question-and-answer session. Attendees, including Adama Sesay, acknowledged the value of the guidance provided by Nasralla, expressing their commitment to spreading the knowledge within their community.

These community engagements underscored the efforts to combat disinformation and empower communities to navigate the information landscape effectively. By fostering dialogue and providing practical guidance, SLAJ aims to create a more informed and resilient society capable of countering misinformation.


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