“The Future Of Journalism Is Under Threat Because Of Rise In Fake News” – President Buhari

“Journalism as a profession is primarily based on being truthful. But with the growing increase in fake news, the future of your profession is under threat.”

President Muhammadu Buhari has decried the use of technology for instigating violence and hate, urging that media professionals and other stakeholders must correct and safeguard Journalism profession.

While receiving the board of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) at Aso Rock on Friday, Buhari spoke on how the spread of fake news has become a threat to journalism.

“Journalism as a profession is primarily based on being truthful. With the growing increase in fake news, the future of your profession is under threat and therefore you must be ready to correct this and safeguard your professionalism and reputation,” he said.

“Generally, technology has been enabler for good however in recent times, we are seeing this platform more and more being used to instigate violence and hate.

“Nowhere is this disturbing trend more apparent than in the various media platforms, where fake news is gaining momentum and is being used to divide and destabilise communities and indeed nations around the world. We see images being manipulated to give legitimacy to lies. We hear voice on radio preaching falsehood and hatred. We also read stories that are already sponsored by individuals who stand to gain at the expense of truth, peace and harmony.

“Like I mentioned a few months ago, at the World Economic Forum in Jordan, since digital information age is borderless, this means we must be ready to respond with the best weapon we have: truth.”

Buhari charged FRCN to develop programmes that will tackle fake news.

“In the case of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, you must proactively develop programmes based on truth, facts and broader national interest,” he said.

“You should also have strategies to react to fake information and sensitize our citizens not to believe stories at face value especially when the source is unknown or not credible, where supporting facts are not available.”

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