From Mohammed Munirat Nasir, Gusau
Zamfara state governor, Dr Bello Mohammed Matawalle has cautioned media practitioners to avoid spreading fake news as destroys the society.
Matawalle gave the warning while speaking at the first Preelection lecture with the topic ‘Effect of Fake News on Security’ organized by the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Zamfara State Council for the chapel’s 2021 elections.
The governor represented by the Special Adviser on Security, DIG Mamman Tsafe (Rtd) described fake news as a lethal bomb can can destroy beyond imagination and therefore the need for the media to avoid for the development of the society.
“Fake news is a bad omen for the society which most be avoided by media in order not to cause confusion and violence in the society.
“Fake news is one of the aggravator of the current insecurity being faced in Zamfara state and other parts of Nigeria and indeed the world at large.
“I implore you as trained journalists not to start or share news items which is not verified as such news might be fake and this can lead to lost of lives and property of the people,” he warned.
The Dean Student Affairs, Federal University, Gusau, Professor Muhammad Lawal Mayanchi described fake news as false, misconceived and misleading information tendered as news which In most cases is used as deceptive tactics to cover falsehood.
He added that fake news are at most times invigorated, spread or enforce by tribal, religious and territorial forces or affiliation to cause political or security havoc.
Prof. Mayanchi added that fake news are created or formulated to deceive readers or viewers
“Fake news could be defined as false, misconceived and misleading information tendered as news. In most cases it is used as deceptive tactics to cover falsehood,” he said.
The university Don said fake news has three characteristics which are :Factually inaccurate, Optimized for sharing and Meant to obscure or distort with emotions; preying on prejudice or bias.
“A news story is not fake simply because it is impolite or inconvenient. A news story that challenges your beliefs or values isn’t fake news. A news story that is rejected by those in power does not make that story a fake news story either,” he said.
Prof. Mayanchi warned media not to let itself be used by self seeking individuals to achieve their selfish aims through the spread of fake news.
“To curve polarisation of fake news individuals should also stop editing and forwarding news without official information from the government,” he warned.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Correspondents’ Chapel Election Committee, Comrade Ibrahim Kanoma said the preelection lecture was to educate journalists and the public about the dangers of fake news particularly on security.
“We believe that to curb insecurity fake news must be avoided totally as it is responsible for most of the violence in the society,” he said.
The lecture was attended by security agencies, politicians and Zamfara state political appointess amongst others.