Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, has called on media professionals and other stakeholders to safeguard journalism profession from the activities of fake news peddlers, revealing that with the growing increase in fake news, the future of journalism as a profession is under threat.
The President gave the challenge when he received the Chairman and members of the Board of Directors of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to Buhari, it is duty bound on the part of all media workers to fight against all vices threatening the profession to protect their reputation in the society. Said he: “Journalism as a profession is primarily based on being truthful. With the growing increase in fake news, the future of your profession is under threat.”
” Therefore, you must be ready to correct this and safeguard your professionalism and your reputation.” The President observed.
He noted that Information Technology is changing the world, and frowned at the use of technology to promote hatred and violence in the society.
He also regretted the situation where images were being manipulated to give legitimacy to lies or airing voices on Radio stations preaching falsehood and hatred.
“Technology is an enabler for good. However in recent times, we are seeing this platform more and more being used to divide and destabilize communities and indeed nations around the country,” he stated.
We want to agree with the President that journalism as a profession is under threat with the activities of fake and half trained journalists.
It is stating the obvious fact that the profession is gradually losing its image and reputation as a result of the quacks who see pen and paper as the only criteria to become a journalist.
It becomes more embarrassing at the advent of the social media where all Tom and Dick now engage in dishing out substandard and most times fake news to the public.
Daily Nigerian Horn believes that the President’s call is also a wake up call on the regulators of the profession to rise up and flush out these miscreants who have tainted the profession.
There is no gain saying the fact that many Nigerians have lost hope in the profession. Therefore, pure professionals must rise and fight these menace before it destroys the whole essence of the journalism profession. Other professions have done it.
The fourth estate of the Realm must do a surgical operation on its profession to restore the confidence and awe people have on the profession.