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November 21, 2023
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Embrace fact-checking, experts tell journalists 

In commemoration of the 2023 World Television Day, journalists have been charged to kick out the dissemination of fake news and incorporate fact-checking in their news reportage.

Eddy Aina, former director National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and public affairs analyst gave the charge on Tuesday, while speaking at the year’s celebration held in Iwe Iroyin Abeokuta, Ogun state.

The celebration themed, Television: A Strategic Tool For Conflict Management and Nation Building and Sub theme: Media Space For Information Access In Nigeria, was organized by the Consolidated chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists Ogun state council.

While praising the media for its timeliness and  efforts in exposing societal ills, the former NBC director advised them to constantly double check reports before sharing them to the public.

In her keynote speech, Toun Okewale-Sonaiya, CEO of 91.7 WFM Radio, represented by Esther Alaribe, the programmes manager asserted that the media must continue to be objective, open, and responsible in delivering accurate and trustworthy information in spite of the difficulties that confront it.

“The media in Nigeria faces various challenges, such as limited press freedom, government censorship, and threats to journalists’ safety, especially female journalists. In recent times, there have been issues of fake news, misinformation, and disinformation. These challenges hinder the media’s ability to provide accurate and unbiased information to the public, the fear of government censorship, such as the suspension of media outlets, restrictions on reporting certain topics, and the intimidation of journalists through various means even litigation. 

“These actions limit the freedom of the press and hinder the flow of information to the public but it is important to also note that we need to promote transparency and ensure that the media can operate independently without fear of censorship.

She underlined the need of considering the growth and development in the media adding that the media must represent the humanity, variety, and aspirations of the populace.

Meanwhile, Olusegun Olukoga, the chairman of the Consolidated Chapel, encouraged media practitioners to embrace fact-checking and work as agents of accurate information

“ Journalists should be agent of right information because this day some do not verify information before putting it out there.

“ I want to encourage all to verify and re verify and even fact check information before you dish it out to the public because once it comes from known journalist it is presumed to be authentic.

“ So that we don’t mislead the public” he concluded.

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