Fake news is defined as false information published as news for fraudulent or politically motivated purposes. Fake news can also be said to be untrue information presented as news, often times aimed at damaging the reputation of a person or entity, or for monetary purposes.
News on the other hand is verifiable information published for public interest.
In this age of social media and the desire to be the first to break a piece news, bloggers and influencers are often time caught publishing and sharing fake news as fact, and the unsuspecting public consume the information without questioning its veracity.
This is why the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in collaboration with Media Awareness and Information for All Network (MAIN) recently organized a two-day capacity building workshop for Bloggers on how to tackle fake news and hate speech.
Declaring the conference open in Abuja, the National Professional Officer, Communication and Information Sector UNESCO Mr Macaulay Olushola told the participants that the reason they were chosen for the training was so they can go back and support their communities.
A little bit of fake news can cause a lot of problems in the society. Avoid hearsay and the desire to be the first to publish. Fake news and hate speech can’t be completely eliminated. We can only minimize it.
Mr Macaulay pointed out that some of the challenges facing bloggers and digital publishers in this time and age include fake source, false information from top authority, financial gains, ethical challenges and compromising integrity. The participants were charged to rise above these challenges if they must tackle fake news and hate speech effectively.
Chairman of the Board for MAIN Professor Lai Osho of School of Communication, Lagos State University, was responsible for practical and hands on training for Bloggers on how to spot and tackle fake news.
Other speakers include National Information Officer, United Nations Information Center Dr Seyi Soremekun and Abubarka Adam Ibrahim of Daily Trust Media. Abubarka Ibrahim on his part treated the conflict between blogging, personal interest and national interest. This was a very insightful session, as participants were exposed to the inner workings of journalism.
Abujanow.com is happy to have been chosen for this very important media training by UNESCO and we are very sure lessons learnt will reflect on our stories going forward.