Fake News, Hate Speech: MTN, Others Call For Caution

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Telecommunications giant, MTN, Nigeria and other stakeholders in the media, have called on the traditional media (print and broadcast) to be cautious of fake news and hate speech threatening the industry in the country.

They made the call at a one-day high capacity training and development workshop for journalists across media platforms, jointly organised by MTN and NECCI Consulting Limited, in Abuja, with the theme: “Strategies for Effective Communication.”

MTN Senior Manager, External Relations, Mr. Funso Aina, said the workshop, which is the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), geared towards building a better society, was to equip journalists with modern tools; to enable them address thorny issues through their factual, objective, accurate and balance reportage of events.

He said journalists must up their ante if they are to effectively and efficiently discharge their duties in ever changing media world.

Aina said: “I’m sure you all know that we continue to learn on a daily basis; by the nature of our profession. It is so dynamic that things keep changing with new developments, new trends and new insights.

“Just as when you look at the dictionary, new words keep coming up; we, therefore, need to constantly brush up our knowledge, for us to be relevant and be able to do our work very well.

“At MTN, this is what we want to achieve because we realize the immense benefit and enormous value that the media brings to the society and businesses in developing our country.”

On her part, Principal Consultant of NECCI Consulting, Mrs. Nkechi Ali-Balogun, noted that fake news is making crisis management difficult.

She stated that it behoves practitioners to decide if they want to nation-builders or a nation-destroyers.

Ali-Balogun charged participants to arm themselves with the latest media tools for fact-checking and misinformation; to avoid crisis in the society.

The Development Communication Expert and Faculty member, NECCI Consulting, Mrs. Afoke Hope Orivri, urged mainstream and social media activists to stop being peddlers of fake news and hate speech and urged the participants to adhere strictly to ethics of the profession by using credible search engines to fact-check information before use.

She also called on professional bodies to wield the big stick, if necessary, as “fake, hate or alternative news is capable of fuel crisis in the country.

Orivri added: “Journalists have a big role to play in society.

“The desire to carve a niche can make or mar the society. In your reporting, the society can gain or lose.”

NECCI Faculty member of, Dare Ogunyombo, called on journalists to be exemplary in leadership roles.