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FG tasks media on fight against fake news, misinformation

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The Federal Government has urged the media to complement the government’s efforts in the fight against fake news and misinformation in the country.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha gave the advice on Tuesday at a training of “Communication Managers on Fake News and Hate Speech” in Abuja.

The training was organised by the Bureau of Public Service Reforms.

Mustapha, represented by Mrs Veronica Agugu, the Director, Public Affairs Department in the office of SGF, described fake news as false and misleading information presented as news.

He urged media practitioners and managers to assist in bridging the divide between governments and citizens in terms of implementation of government reform policies and programmes.

“Strengthening transparency in governance will require public sector to public communication as a tool to systematically raise citizens awareness which in turn would reduce the potency of hate speech in the country,” Mustapha said.

Dr Bala Muhammad, a lecturer at the Department of Mass Communication, Bayero University, Kano State, described media managers as media literates.

He urged them to unite against fake news and misinformation to promote peaceful co-existence in the country.

Muhammad said that most of the users of social media were not media literate, hence they easily fall for fake news and misinformation in the country.

Mr Yushau Shuaib, one of the resource persons, expressed concern over the huge number of social media users who were not media literate.

Shuaib stressed the need for relevant stakeholders to redouble their efforts in regulating the activities of social media in the country.

Mr Dasuki Arabi, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms, said the training was to tackle the growing incidences of fake news, and hate speech occasioned by internet technology in the country.

Deji Abdulwahab

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