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Hate speech destroys society, says UN official

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Hate speeches could eat up the fabric of any society, endanger its peace and stability, especially in a country like Nigeria with its ethnic and religious diversity.

Country Director of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Nigeria, Roland Kayanja, made the assertion in Abeokuta, Ogun State yesterday in a lecture he delivered to mark the second Anniversary of a Social Media Platform, PENPUSHING.

Kanyanja, who spoke on The Media and The Question For Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions In Nigeria, challenged Nigerian journalists to stick to ethical reporting by always “telling the truth with fairness and with interest of Nigeria at the forefront.”

He added that it was important for newsmen to counter the narratives spewing out of social media.

He disagreed that the traditional media, especially newspapers would soon fizzle because of social media, arguing that although newspapers circulation had reduced drastically, it was critical for the media to remain credible to their audiences by following the rules of ethical reporting.

“There are some media houses, which pay their reporters peanuts, while some do not pay salaries in a long time. Such media organisations will fizzle out because it will be difficult to adhere to ethical reporting in such situations,” he stated.

He pointed out that the UNESCO had identified five conditions under which the media could contribute to a democratic society or substantive democracy.

“Agenda 2030 and the SDGs provide a platform for the media to engage all those with power and influence in the public and private sectors. If we can achieve the target in Agenda 2030, the country will be more peaceful and prosperous,” he added.


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