Fake News: Maintain Your Value, Arewa Online Publishers Urges Media in Nigeria

The Arewa Online Publishers’ Association (AOPA), has urged media organisations in Nigeria to strive to maintain their value in news environment especially with the new age of digitalization and technology.

The group in a statement signed by the association’s Secretary, Comrade Balarabe Junaidu, frowned at fake news which is gaining traction on social media, pledging that “with avowed commitment to objectivity and incisiveness as our guiding principles, Arewa Online Publishers Association, will do everything within her powers to help curb fake news which is dominating the online space.

“Although, it is observed that some people, especially politicians, are using the term Fake News against the media to the great detriment of journalism, media in Nigeria should strive to maintain their value in news environment being remade by digital technology.

“Fabricated content, misleading headlines and false context for millions of Internet users, AOPA observes, is reaching epidemic proportion.

“To AOPA, some online misinformation have become a major threat to the society, because of the resultant political disorder ,the undermining of truth , the hatred and rumour that can spread in conflict.”

Worried by this development, members of the AOPA, cutting across the 19 Northern States and Abuja, said they are out to build more thoughtful and balanced Comnunities around their news.

“Nigerians should not be made to continue facing a mix of junk news, computational propaganda and information pollution.

“Rather, the universal standard of journalism to salvage the leaders to socio- economic needs of the citizens, shall remain members’ focus.

“The world today faces a collision between facts and alternative facts, therefore it behooves on online Publishers to get their news heard over the din of fake news emanating from quacks,” it further stated.

While acknowledging the campaign against fake news initiated last year by Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed in reaction to misinformation and hate speech, AOPA said it would like to remind Nigerians that fake news is an information that can not be verified, without sources and possibly, untrue.

“Therefore the move by the Minister which seems to have short lived, should not only be embraced but seen as part of our collective desire to make Social media platform responsible,” it concluded.

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