Nigeria Newspapers

Countering fake news is responsibility of all stakeholders – Minister

Alhaji Mohammed Idris, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, says the duty of addressing and countering fake news is the responsibility of all stakeholders.

Idris stated this on Wednesday in Abuja at the Ministerial Press Briefing to herald activities lined up to mark President Bola Tinubu’s first year in office.

“Misinformation is a cancer that may lead to a breakdown of law and order in the country; it is also useful to understand that democracy cannot grow without media and press freedom,” he said.

He explained that the media space in Nigeria was largely free, adding that President Tinubu was determined to make it even freer.

“The freedom that the media enjoys also comes with responsibility.

“While it is the right of media practitioners to report, they should also have a duty to ensure it is done responsibly, honestly, and with a deep sense of patriotism.

“You cannot say something is free while it is also fake or not true. Press freedom relates to the ability of a practitioner or anybody to relate a story responsibly, honestly and factually.

“You cannot say things to malign someone deliberately, and call it press freedom or freedom of expression.

“So, while the government is determined to ensure that the media continues to enjoy its freedom to do its job, it is also pertinent on practitioners within the space to ensure they also maintain a high standard of professionalism.

“The practitioners have a greater duty to clean up the media space, otherwise, the media will be the biggest victim of misinformation and fake news.

“It is not the government’s responsibility alone to counter fake news. It is a duty for everyone, including those in the social media space,” Idris said.

The minister described fake news as a global challenge, adding that all stakeholders must come together and fight the menace.

He admonished practitioners to ensure that whatever they did was for the interest of the country.

“We must report patriotically and honestly. It is a collective responsibility that will make us have a better society,” he said.