By Princely Onyenwe, Imo
The governor of Imo state has applauded the publishers of Onion newspaper for setting up a pace to organise a one- day workshop/ seminar for practising journalists in the state captioned “DANGERS OF FAKE NEWS TO THE SOCIETY”
This event took place at Rockview Hotels Owerri located close to Government House Owerri.
Chief Oguike Nwachukwu the CPS to the state government hinted that the government is ripe to deliver development to the state but stated that “
If we use fake news invariably we are destroying the society and the public”
Having an array of media practitioners in Imo present at the occasion, a lot of citations was presented to include that of Professor Obiaraeri Agunaechemba Okigwe who happened to be a two times commissioner in Imo state.
The guest lecturer of the event, Dr has reiterated the fact that his topic was a Legal overview of fake news and that the essence of news is to be informed and such news must be paddled rightly.
He added that news comes in two ways, either to inform u of the reality or to advise you to retract from the looming dangers of the unknown. In every law, there is an exception. That the freedom of speech must be within the law and cannot be because there is a rider in line with section 39 of the Nigerian constitution.
Information that is not based on truth is known as fake news and News that are verifiably false that is not verifiably with fact. He added that if there is no fake news there will not be real news but must be prepared to pay the price as required by law..so beware, he warned.
Renowned journalist, Ethelbert Okere added that journalists should not report all they have seen to avoid harming society. He however warned practising journalists to show compassion and be sensitive in their work and be judicious about naming criminal suspects before they are charged by a competent court of law.
There is no quack journalists and publishers but it is a big sour point in the practice. The newspaper industry is the second highest to civil service but still left without salaries because newspapers and their publishers have made the industry poor.
SA to the governor on print media Hon. Modestus Nwamkpa insists that fake news is relative and that tradition is a senior brother to law and therefore disagreed that journalists are fake but hinted that they operate from a hard corner and enjoin journalists to do good work.
The guest speakers commended the resilience of journalists despite enormous challenges while Dr Fidel Onyeneke thanked the Onion newspaper family for such a wonderful opportunity given the journalists to educate them and called on journalists to improve their qualifications to be registered professional.
Present at the workshop were an array of practising journalists, 9News Nigeria, CPS Oguwuike, SA on print media Hon. Modestus Nwamkpa, former NUJ boss Chief Dr Fidel Onyeneke, Fmr Information commissioner Vitalist Ajumbe, guest speakers Dr Ethelbert Okere, Professor Obiaraeri and many others too numerous to mention.
9News Nigeria (Owerri)
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