In order to combat false news and protect society from the adverse effects of rumor mongering and propaganda, Nigerians have been recommended to check for components of credibility in accounts and consult media platforms with demonstrated integrity in news and data sourcing.
Mr. Sunday Ekerikevwe, a lecturer at the University of Benin’s Department of Mass Communication, made the submission during the Department of Mass Communication’s maiden lecture sequence, Edo State Polytechnic, Usen. The Fake News and Media Credibility lecture is the department’s first academic discourse that provides opportunities for academics and business players to interface with the polytechnic society and share their experiences and expertise to contribute to societal growth and development.
In the lecture titled the gains from new media and the burden of fake news– how to maintain the culture of truth-based journalism, Ekerikevwe said it was expedient for reporters to stick to the truth when reporting and make sure they did not give the press space for fake news. He observed that the ubiquitous nature of social media has increased the task of journalism and put more accountability on reporters, which requires them to safeguard journalism’s picture and not allow quacks to run them out of company.
He said false news is one of the ethically questionable methods in journalism because it has serious consequences for society when data is adulterated. He encouraged polytechnic learners and employees to check their source’s credibility in determining whether or not to think a news story, calling on them to “look for credibility, supporting proof such as photographs and videos, among others.”
Dean, Engineering School, Engr. Cedric Oviawe, who represented Rector Prof. Abiodun Falodun of the institution, said that modalities are in place to enhance the teaching atmosphere in the Mass Communication Department with the establishment of a state-of- the-art mass communication studio.