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NewsGov't PR officers undergo 5-day training on fighting misinformation


Gov’t PR officers undergo 5-day training on fighting misinformation


A five-day training and capacity-building exercise for Public Relations Practitioners from various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies is underway in Elmina, Central Region.

The aim of the exercise which began on Monday, 13th and expected to end on Friday, 17th May, is to combat and stem the rising incidence of information disorders in the country.

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This exercise, a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Information (MoI), the Information Services Department (ISD), and the private entity NU Image, seeks to equip Public Relations practitioners with the knowledge and skills to detect and counteract information disorders such as disinformation, mal-information, and misinformation.

The training also aims to provide PROs at the MDAs and RCCs with modern tools, including Artificial Intelligence and Digital Communication, to combat misinformation and disinformation. This will enable the officers to examine the evolving landscape of digital communication platforms and their impact on information dynamics.

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Central Regional Minister, Justina Marigold Assan, in a speech read on her behalf by the Planning Director from the Regional Coordinating Council, Mr. Timothy Oman, appealed to the participants to implement the knowledge gained from the five-day program in their respective workplaces.

Addressing the participants at the opening, Dr. Nafisah Mahama, the Acting Director of the Information Services Department (ISD), explained the scope, importance, and timeliness of the training.

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She emphasized the necessity for participants to be exposed to such knowledge and technological sophistication to effectively combat information disorders.

She noted that as the country heads into a crucial election period, the production of misinformation and falsehoods is likely to increase. Consequently, a significant responsibility falls on public relations practitioners to be innovative and timely in their opposition to such developments.

“In this era of unprecedent connectivity and information overload, we find ourselves grappling with pervasiveness of information disorders such misinformation, disinformation and mal-information. These things threaten to undermine trust, sow division and erode the very fabric of our society. However, we stand united in our determination to confront it head-on. We are going to embark on transformative learning experience, guided by experts and practitioners in the field,”.

The Head of Public Relations Coordinating Council (PRCD) at the Information Services Department, Madam Ethel Cudjoe, focused her speech on the development of Artificial Intelligence and its double-edged sword effects.

She disclosed that while AI tools could positively impact and facilitate the work of public relations practitioners, they also have the potential to be active agents of misinformation and disinformation.

Therefore, she encouraged the participants to deepen their understanding and recognition of modern information technology tools, use them to enhance their work, and avoid falling victim to their negative aspects.

The officers are expected to be empowered to use appropriate digital communication tools to enhance government communication efforts.

Participants are also expected to identify the vehicles for information disorders to ensure that misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation are stopped in their tracks.

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