Minister Calls On Media To Be More Professional 

Yemisi Izuora

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has

advised media organizations to set up a special desk for fact-checking

in order to guard against being misled by fake news and

misinformation.

The Minister gave the advice in Abuja on Tuesday when he received the

management of the Guardian Newspaper on a courtesy visit.

“I believe it will not be out of place for reputable media

organizations like the Guardian to set up a special desk for

fact-checking as a panacea for this problem. That way, you can help

Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian Newspaper, Mr. Martins
>>> Oloja (left) presenting a publication on the newspaper to the Minister
>>> of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (right), when the
>>> management of the media house paid a courtesy visit to the Minister in

citizens to separate fact from fiction. I am aware that some media

organizations are already doing this, but it must be taken seriously

by every media establishment.

“In an era of fake news and misinformation, the media has a duty to

get its facts right. The media does itself a great favour by ensuring

that charlatans and hack writers do not dominate the media space, as

it’s increasingly becoming the case here in Nigeria

“It is said that for the media to be able to play its role, which is

to inform, criticize and stimulate debate, it must take responsibility

for whatever it puts out. In other words, it must get its facts right.

But can we say today that most of what we read, hear and watch in the

news are factual?” he inquired.

Alhaji Mohammed said in the past few days alone, his office has

received appeals from many concerned Nigerians asking the Federal

Government to do something about the rising wave of fake news and

misinformation.

He said he is also aware that, publicly, some well meaning Nigerians

have issued such appeals, and gave the assurance that the government

will be taking a more concrete step on this in the months ahead.

The Minister said the issue of fake news and misinformation is not

just about the government alone, as some have insinuated, noting that

homes have been ruined and that many people have been pushed into

depression with fake news and misinformation

He hailed the Nigerian media which, he said, is widely regarded as

being independent and fearless, saying that the government continues

to view the media as a strong partner.

In his remarks, the Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian, Mr. Martins

Oloja, told the Minister that the newspaper is re-engineering itself

and evolving into a multi-media platform,

He said The Guardian remains loyal to the Constitution of the Federal

Republic of Nigeria and would not yield its platform to those seeking

to undermine the country’s unity.

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