As the World observe Press Freedom day, Imo State Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Chris Akaraonye has advised media practitioners to checkmate the menace of fake news.
In a statement in Owerri, Akaraonye lamented how fake news has caused security breaches in the country. He also called for robust synergy between Government employers of Journalists, security agencies and media practictioners.
The full statement reads:
” As Imo journalists join their counterparts the world over to observe World Press Freedom Day, I call for a robust synergy between the state government, employers of Journalists, Security Agencies and media practitioners for unhindered media practice.
“The world press freedom day was declared by the United Nations in December, 1993 following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference on May 3. With this year’s Team “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Election in Times of Disinformation”, the synergy between these agencies and media practitioners will enable the society get all the information required which will enable them follow government programmes and policies without any hindrance.
Fake news today is posing serious threat to the journalism profession. Therefore there is an urgent need for media practitioners to use their professionalism to tackle the menace of disinformation.
“Fake news have caused security breaches, religious and ethnic crisis and above all misinformation on programmes and policies of government. There is therefore need for the government, employers of journalists, security agencies and media practitioners to come together and fight this ugly trends that is ravaging our society.
“I urge the public to always clarify information from reliable media platforms before sharing same on social media. I advise journalists to verify information before reporting such as news item. It is the social responsibility of the media to use their news reports to expose maladministration and put the government at all levels on check on their programmes and policies. This will help tackle insecurity, economic hardship and other societal challenges.
” I commend all Imo journalists and media organizations for the way they have been reporting news about the state that have brought peace and development in the state and urge them not to relent. I also appeal to government and security agencies to always co-operate with the media and carry them along in their activities for effective reportage.
“I appeal to government and media owners to improve the salaries of media practitioners and ensure payment of their salaries as at when due which will enable the journalists to perform their duties of information dissemination freely and happily.