COVID-19: Verify information before dissemination, group tells Nigerians


The Centre for Applied Ethics and Political Communication in Africa has called on Nigerians to check credibility and sources of information,  especially on COVID-19, before dissemination.

A statement by the group’s Project Coordinator, Mrs Geraldine Ezeobi in Ibadan on Saturday, said that the call was the outcome of the observations of panelists at a virtual seminar on: “Political communication and good governance”.

Ezeobi said that the seminar was organised to enlighten the public on what was being said by global actors; what should have been said and the place of Africa in the global political communication terrain.

She quoted one of the discussants, Mrs Edem Ossai, a public affairs analyst, who spoke on the global communication landscape, as saying that communication in general, as regard COVID-19, could better be described as an “infodemic”.

According to Ossai, mass self-communication operators are on the increase and citizens are unable to identify the trusted and reliable source.

“The traditional news conference sessions have been replaced by a broadened news room, which can be found on twitter and other social media sites.

“And there was a dire need for people to have trust not only in the source but also in the medium,” Ossai said.

Mr Zubairu Atta, a gender and media expert highlighted the importance of media and information literacy as a phenomenon that was essential in the reception, processing and transfer of political communication.

Atta called for a developed African political communication model that would fit the African political terrain.

Dr Sharon Omotoso of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, said that Nigerians at all levels should fact-check and determine the credibility of messages and their sources before sharing.

Omotosho reiterated the need for a home-grown political communication model for Africa and for all persons in political offices to master political communication by being media and information literate.

Other discussants at the seminar were Dr Tunde Fajimbola and Prof. Alaba Ogunsanwo, former Nigerian High Commissioner to Belgium.

Mr Macaulay Olushola, the National Professional Officer for Information and Communication of UNESCO, among others, also attended the seminar.(NAN)

– May 2, 2020 @ 14:45 GMT |

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