The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) on Monday in Enugu trained no fewer than 100 students of tertiary institutions on the danger of fake news.
The National Coordinator of HURIWA, Mr Emmanuel Onwubiko, said that the training became necessary following the negative impacts of fake news in the country.
He said that it was worrisome that the emergence of the social media had made most Nigerians confused and not knowing what to believe due to incidences of fake news.
“The social media has changed the dynamics of journalism but our journalists should be reminded that they have a role to play in building this country.
“The media should help the citizens tell the government what to do instead of chasing politicians and other government officials around.
“The media should build and not to destroy,” he said.
Onwubiko said the security agencies just as the media had some roles to play to stabilise the country.
He, however, said that HURIWA was concerned with reported incidences of right abuses by security agencies, adding that there was the need to address such.
He said that HURIWA was delighted that the Federal Government had taken steps to reform the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), adding that it would improve public confidence in the police.
In a lecture, Mr Chidiebere Ezinwa, said that fake news was destroying the image of the country.
Ezinwa, a lecturer in Department of Mass Communication, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, said the media had sadly acquired negative image “such that people no longer rely on them.’’
“People should know that freedom of speech comes with responsibilities. We need to imbibe human rights based approach to reporting,” he said.
On the involvement of the army in civil matters in the country, Ezinwa said that such would be counterproductive in the long run, adding that they should concentrate on their constitutional mandate.
“We should look at ways of getting the army out of civil society. Else, they will lose public confidence and respect,” he said.
Ezinwa called on the Federal Government to address those issues that had made the police ineffective instead of deploying the army to perform the role of the police.
Also, Mr Emeka Nwanze, another speaker at the event said that journalists also needed to be free from all encumbrances in the discharge of their duties.
“The government needs to protect the lives of journalists and those of members of their families,” Nwanze said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the event was: “Providing Civil Society Support for the Nigeria Army”. (NAN)
– Dec. 7, 2020 @ 17:00GMT |