Experts have tasked journalists to lead the fight against fake news in Nigeria by deploying the tools available to them, including professionalism, ethics, and technology.
They spoke at a workshop on Misinformation, Politics and the Economy at the School of Media and Communication, Pan Atlantic University, Lagos.
The Centre for Leadership in Journalism of the School of Media and Communication (SMC) organised the workshop in collaboration with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Dean of the School of Media and Communication, Dr Ikechukwu Obiaya, asserted that control is at the heart of the challenge of misinformation, politics and the economy. He said the School of Media & Communications considered it a social responsibility to contribute to the discourse on the challenge of misinformation in Nigeria and how to tackle it.
Citizens deserve correct and right information as the bases for their decisions in all spheres of life.
Mrs Ijeoma Onyeator, an adjunct lecturer at the SMC and Channels TV anchor, urged professionals and their platforms to look beyond the social media which is the major area of disinformation.
She noted the emerging conflicts of interpretations regarding fake news that some try to present as alternative facts. Onyeator said media platforms must note the change from “gatekeeping” to the “gate watcher process” whereby even the media are constantly under surveillance by citizens.
She asked platforms to monitor themselves in the era of social media to ensure that what they give out meets professional standards. Onyeator asserted that in the social media age, one way to combat fake news would be collaborative gatekeeping.
“Collaborative gatekeeping involves mainstream journalists incorporating alternative voices and perspectives, but only after the requisite tests for the principles of journalism”.
BusinessDay Senior Editorial Executive Mr. Vincent Nwanma affirmed that misinformation is particularly significant and harmful in the case of the economy and the capital market.
News moves the financial markets. Risk pricing is the basis for resource allocation. Wrong information creates a misallocation of assets and resources and this could endanger people’s lives, assets, and reputations.