Premium Times partners NAN to curb fake news in Nigeria

Premium Times, NAN, fake news, Dapo Olorunyomi, campus journalists
Publisher of Premium Times, Dapo Olorunyomi

The Executive Director of Premium Times, Mr Dapo Olorunyomi on Tuesday reiterated the need for media organisations to deploy facts-checking techniques to check the spread of fake news in the country.

Olorunyomi made the call when he visited the headquarters of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

He solicited partnership between NAN and Premium Times Centre on Investigative Journalism in order to set up a fact-checking platform with a view to mitigating the effects of fake news in the country.

Olorunyomi, who blamed the rising wave of false information on digital evolution, pointed out that it could be of great consequences to the society.

According to him, dealing with truth in the media industry has become a huge challenge.

“Part of it is as a result of digital transition which is affecting our profession and now we have to wrestle with the terrain of just being factual.

“Our coming today is to share with you the footprints of our work and how NAN can be a partner.

“The problems of fake news or what we professionally will call disorder in the information ecosystem has really made things tough.

“Unfortunately, not everybody has the tools to understand this process very well.

“Those tools are something we have to understand their origin and see how they constitute serious dangers.

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“We all know now that on account of fake news, elections are being decided in some of the most advanced democracies in the world.

“A new pattern of warfare has also moved into the terrain which affects us,’’ he said.

Olorunyomi said that the centre was willing to provide training for NAN reporters as well as share tools for specialised form of journalism.

According to him, NAN is influential because it is the most influential newsroom in the country and what you do can help all of us get better.

“So it seems quite sensible in our own opinion if NAN is taking leadership on this, it helps every other person if NAN gets fact-checking right,’’ Olorunyomi said.

Responding, Mr Ibrahim Mammaga, the Acting Managing Director, NAN expressed the agency’s commitment to professionalism and to always publish stories that are factual.

“Since we are dealing with clients both within and outside the country, we need to dish out what is more factual and that will satisfy their quest for credibility.’’

Mammaga said that speed and accuracy remained the focus of the agency, adding that the proposed training is apt to inculcate in reporters the ability to always be factual.

According to him, there is always a need for the right information so as to enable the society to make right decisions. (NAN)