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General elections: NITDA, NUJ caution journalists against fake news



The growth of fake news as a catalyst for social vices
General elections: NITDA, NUJ caution journalists against fake news
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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has warned journalists to shun fake news in reporting the General Elections.

Malam Abdullahi Inuwa, the Director-General of the agency, gave the warning on Wednesday in Enugu.

Inuwa spoke at the official opening of a one-day Digital Journalism and Fact-checking Workshop.

The event was organised by NITDA, in collaboration with NUJ and PRNigeria.

Inuwa was represented at the event by the Head of Communication and External Affairs of the agency, Mrs Hadiza Umar.

He said that the workshop was designed “to reawaken the consciousness of journalists to the dangers of fake news, especially before, during and after elections”.

He described the theme of the workshop, “Imperatives of digital news verification for the 2023 elections,” as apt, given that the elections are around the corner.

“Fake news can mar the forthcoming election.

“Therefore, journalists must always try to verify their news before publishing or airing it,’’ he said.

In a speech, the NUJ President, Chief Chris Isiguzo, said that the workshop was a continuation of a nationwide capacity engagements, spanning 20 states.

“This is in view of the moment of electioneering ahead of the elections.

“We consider it imperative to engage strategic stakeholders in the elections,” Isiguzo said.


He further charged journalists to maintain high level of professional ethics in carrying out election duties.

He described fake news as one of the greatest threats to democracy.

The NUJ president, therefore, urged journalists to always place the unity and peaceful co-existence of the country above other considerations.

“Journalists should be guided by national interest in their reportage.

“They must understand that we operate in a condition where we need to pull our people out of ignorance, poverty and squalor,’’ he said.

According to him, the NUJ leadership is currently making efforts to rewrite the ethics for journalists.

“This has become imperative in the light of the advent of the social media,’’ Isiguzo said.