Martins tasks media on fight against fake news
The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins, has charged journalists to deepen the practice of the profession and help to eradicate fake news by reporting only facts based on findings, interaction with people and their own experiences.
Martins gave the charge at a mass held at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos, to mark the World Day of Communications with the theme ‘come and see’.
The celebration is a yearly event set aside by the Holy See to celebrate media practitioners and the important role they play in fostering peace and unity across the world.
The archbishop, who spoke with newsmen, said the celebration provides an opportunity to acknowledge efforts of media practitioners and serves as avenue for them to re-dedicate themselves to the ethics of their profession and the commitment required of them.
He praised journalists for making efforts to ensure that diverse news are brought to the people, even at considerable personal risks and urged them to report factual events so that those who have responsibility to take care of those concerns would be assured that they are getting truthful accounts.
The cleric, who observed that the Internet is a veritable tool for ensuring that people express their own personal experiences, warned that there is danger when people use this opportunity in a negative way by spreading fake news and creating undue tension that are inimical to the well-being of the people.
He said that practitioners must ensure that any information put out would not go against the welfare and security of the people.
“We must not detract from that responsibility that has been given to us,” he stated.
Speaking on insecurity in the country, Martins said that non-state actors must not be allowed to exploit lapses in the nation’s security structure as that could portend great danger to the well-being of the country.
He urged government to ensure that security agencies are supported with materials, monies and other things to boost morale and give them the push to tackle security challenges head-on.
He also advised faith-based organisations to continue appealing to the conscience of the people and their followers to ensure that the message of the scriptures are not just taken at face-value, but put into practice.
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