- The federal government is on the verge of intensifying efforts to help curb the rampaging rate of quack media practice
- Media outlets and other related organisations have been urged to join forces with the federal government to combat fake news
- Fake news at present is fast becoming a major threat to global peace and the federal government of Nigeria calls for a fact-check based journalism
FCT, Abuja - In a bid to help reshape journalism and combat the incessant rate of fake news, the federal government of Nigeria has urged news agencies to cultivate the culture of fact-checking news items before dissemination.
The minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made this call on Friday, June 10 in Abuja at the Institutional Interaction Workshop to celebrate the 2022 World Press Freedom Day.
The minister who was absent at the event was ably represented by the permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Dr. Ifeoma Anyanwutaku.
As gathered by our Legit.ng's regional correspondent who was present at the event, Lai Mohammed stated that it is high time media outlets and the government join forces to help annihilate quack journalists distorting the good course of the profession.
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"May I call on you, great members of the fourth estate of the realm, to always verify sources of information at your disposal, since we are in the era of citizen journalism, where anyone could hide behind their electronic gadgets to send unverified and mostly fake news. The urgent need for every organization to set up a fact-checking desk can therefore not be overstressed."
FG sues for protection of media practitioners
He went further to reel out the plight and ordeals of the true professionals who go through a lot of hazards while in the course of duty.
Mohammed urged the judiciary to help grant justice to those who have suffered casualty while doing the good work of journalism.
"I reiterated the huge pain I feel when I hear of journalists being attacked or slain in the line of duty. I, therefore, urged our Lordships to ensure swift justice for those found guilty of these heinous acts, so that the family and friends of the deceased can take solace in the fact that justice had been duly served."
Media and government must synergise - Lai Mohammed
Mohammed however stated that media outlets stand to benefit a lot synergizing with the government rather than isolating themselves from possible collaborations with the government.
“As I have consistently said, the media has nothing to fear from the federal government, because we see media practitioners as partners in progress, rather than as adversaries.
"You may wish to know that Journalists belonging to public and private media organizations have, under our watch, benefitted from symposia and workshops designed to optimize their abilities and broaden the range of their skill set."
Mr. Mohammed stressed that efforts will be in place to ensure media practitioners are in tune with global best practices in their field.
FG meets Facebook team, makes important demand over IPOB activities
In another development, the minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed has held a crucial meeting with a Facebook team.
At the meeting, the information minister told the Facebook representatives to stop allowing IPOB to use their platforms to incite violence.
Mohammed said the Nigerian government would be monitoring Facebook and other social media platforms closely to ensure compliance with the demand.
Like Twitter, all social media platforms operating in Nigeria must be regulated - Lai Mohammed
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the federal government said it was set to amend its relevant statutes and code to enforce the operational conditions of Twitter in Nigeria on other social media platforms.
Information minister Mohammed made this disclosure in Cairo at a meeting with his counterpart, Egypt Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Dr Amir Talaat.
The meeting was on the sidelines of a bilateral discussion with Africa Export Import Bank, Afreximbank, on how Nigeria can access funding to support its growing creative industry.