As part of measures to curb fake news in Nigeria, a Non Governmental Organization (NGO), Generations For Peace (GFP), on Thursday, engaged journalist in Kaduna on how to address the spread.
Activities at the engagement which includes identifying sources and causes of fake news, rounded up with participants providing solutions on how to tame the dangerous trend.
Some of the solutions includes; sensitisation of opinion leaders, news sources such as government officials, politicians, social media influencers amongst others on how to identify facts and authentic information before sharing with the public.
In her remarks, Jelilat Abidoye Assistant Admin Officer GFP Nigeria office, said the essence of the media engagement was to discuss issues of fake news and hate speeches which are the major problems endangering peaceful coexistence in Kaduna state and Nigeria in general.
According to her, “we hope to have a constructive and productive engagement with you in discussing issues relating to peace and conflict transformation in Kaduna state.
“The importance of the press in the building of peace in our society cannot be over emphasized because information is power and light, lack of it can make members of the society agitated, desperate, restless and sometimes utterly confused, thus the roles journalists and journalism plays in a society that is prone to crisis can easily be likened to man’s breathing. Opinions are shaped by the information people get from the different mass media outlets available.
“Kaduna state has a long history of religious and ethnic conflicts, and despite the efforts of the mass media in mobilizing, informing, educating and enlightening the people so as to bring harmony and tolerance amongst all sections of the slate, fake and inciting news is also a major societal dilemma in building peace and coexistence. More so with the advent of social media even though the main stream media has done and is still doing it’s bit in curbing the flow of such fake news.
“It is our utmost hope that at the end of this engagement, together, we will be able to identify the causes of fake news, how to curb dissemination of fake news and strategic action steps to take in addressing the spread of fake news.”
Jelilat, explained that, “Generations for Peace is a global organization founded by His Royal Highness Prince Feisal Al-Hussein president of Jordan Olympic committee and a member of international Olympic committee (I.0.C) based in Amman Jordan with the vision of ensuring sustainable peace in actively tolerant communities via responsible citizenship.
“Since 2008 Generations for Peace has implemented programs in and around Kaduna state by working with children, youth, adults and women. Over the years these programmes have created impact in the communities through innovative and carefully designed programs in sport empowerment, dialogue arts and advocacy, this it does by creating safe platforms for interactions and engagements between people from diverse ethnic and religious groups who have been experiencing conflict.
“It’s against the above backdrop that we (Generations for peace) with the support of the United States Embassy (USEM) Abuja have intensified efforts to bring social inclusion, understanding and tolerance to communities experiencing conflict among the diverse ethnic groups and two major religions (Christianity and Islam) with the aim of helping transform these conflicts and build sustainable peace for future generations. Hence the slogan; “Generations for Peace, pass it on.”