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NBA unravels plans to tackle fake news among social media influencers, bloggers

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Engr. Ajibola Abiola

The Director, National Broadcast Academy, NBA, Engr. Ajibola Abiola has decried the growing rate of fake news in the social and mainstream media in Nigeria, insisting that the Academy is committed to fighting the menace.

In a chat with ABN TV on Wednesday, Engr. Abiola while revealing that unethical practice in the media industry can be attributed to poor regulation, he added that the NBA has concluded plans to repackage its curriculum so that much emphasis will be placed on ethics in broadcasting and news circulation.

“We believe that if people are brought to the knowledge of ethics in broadcasting, the issue of fake news will be brought to the barest minimum. If you must address a large number of persons, there are ethics you must follow and adhere to so that you won’t just go out there and start telling people about or imagine certain things that are not there.

“So we at NBA, we are trying to make sure that all our trainees are fully imbibed with ethics of broadcasting and that is what we are doing,” he said.

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He reiterated that the federal government is making efforts to curtail the menace of fake news, saying the Academy is doing all it can to assist the government in dealing with fake news which he says affects the polity.

Engr. Abiola stated that a large chunk of fake news in circulation emanate from the social media, attributing to the activities of unprofessional.

“They don’t know anything about broadcasting, mass media or what media practice is all about. They don’t know that the media is a sensitive arm of government. The media occupies the fourth arm of the realm after the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary arms of government” he said.

He described media practitioners as the intermediary between the people and the government, saying they bring interface between the leader and the led.

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Emphasizing that information dissemination requires absolute carefulness both ways, the Director said accuracy and factuality is the heart of mass media, a culture he said unprofessional practitioners do not have.

According to him, if the media practice is done the way it ought to be, the spread of fake news will be reduced.

He expressed the readiness of the Academy to impact the knowledge of ethics to all those who want to go into the media industry either as broadcasters or online media practitioners.

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