- CEREDEMS has explained why the conflict reporting must be balanced
- The centre said the protest is a fundamental part of the democratic process all over the world
- Mustapha Jamiu, the coordinator of the CEREDEMS-Africa, said the information disorder during protests become sophisticated as it moves from physical to virtual arena
The Centre for Research on Development of African Media, Governance, and Society (CEREDEMS) has urged the governments at all levels to cater for the needs of the people to limit the rate of protests on the African continent.
Legit.ng reports that the centre made this plea during an international webinar with the theme: “Narratives around Information Disorder Ecosystem in Africa” held on Saturday, November 14.
In a communique signed by the coordinator of the CEREDEMS-Africa, Mustapha Muhammed Jamiu, the centre said the protest is a fundamental part of the democratic process all over the world, and most especially in Africa, where the practice of democracy is still experiencing challenges.
Jamiu noted that good governance is a required ingredient to limit the rate of protest on the African continent as changing demographics and massive penetration of the internet on the continent aid mobilisation for protests.
He said the information flow is a critical aspect of protests which involves the generation of narratives from the protesters and the constituted authorities, adding that the two sides involved are usually eager to win the narrative war with the two sides attempting to pollute the information highway with information disorder.
The centre noted that information disorder during protests become sophisticated as it moves from physical to virtual arena, leading to confusing narratives and thereby violating the sanctity of information flow.
The statement read:
"A credibility gap has been observed in the mainstream media making social media an alternative means of getting information for people in Africa. Unfortunately, most information shared on these social pages cannot be said to be credible.
"There is a need for media organisations in Africa to be sensitive to conflict reporting, how protests are presented and reported. And journalists should refrain from being willing collaborators in the promotion of wrong narratives during protests.
"There is a need to incorporate information disorder into the media/communication curriculum in Africa. This is important as it was observed that information disorder cannot stop because it is beneficial for those that employ it."
He said there is a need to establish a train-the-trainer programme for media/communication teachers in African universities, saying that it would strengthen their capacities to train future journalists in fact-checking and other preventive measures against information disorder.
It further stated:
"There is a need to institute media/ information literacy programmes for citizens in African countries so as to increase awareness of information disorder and improve citizens’ abilities to verify the information.
"Constant training for journalists and media workers is also a desirable step in checking the menace of information disorder in Africa, especially during the crisis period."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the federal government declared that there is an urgent need for the rebuilding of trust between the government and the governed.
It was reported that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said this during the Rebuild Lagos: Dialogue and Partnership event.
Police teargas Nigerian citizens during peaceful protest in Lagos | - on Legit TV