Christian media group, Journalists For Christ (JFC), International Outreach, has joined other media organisations around the world to mark the World Press Freedom Day 2021, calling Nigerian journalists to beware of fake news.
In a release signed by the President of the association, Mr. Lekan Otufodunrin, he said the theme of the celebration, ”Information as a Public Good” is on point.
Reading in part, the statement says, “As media organisations and associations worldwide commemorate the World Press Freedom Day today, May 3,2021, Journalists for Christ (JFC), the Association for Christian Journalists and allied professional in Nigeria, urges media professionals in Nigeria to ensure access to verified and reliable information for the people.”
Otufodunrin continued that, “The theme for this year’s celebration, ‘Information as a Public Good’ is very apt considering the urgent need, more than ever before, to ensure that people have access to the right information at all times.
“New media technologies have enhanced freedom of expression, dissemination and access to information, but the level of misinformation and dissemination have become worrisome.”
He however enjoined journalists to beware of fake news items which have become the order of the day.
“Fake news have become the order of the day with many false information and harmful content being disseminated regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and other major crises,” he noted.
The JFC President stated further that, “In line with the statement by UNESCO Director General, Audrey Azulay, this year’s celebration should call attention to the essential role of free and professional journalists in producing and disseminating this information, by tackling misinformation and other harmful content.
“In this regard, the media in Nigeria and worldwide need the necessary freedom and support to be able to play it’s expected role in properly informing and educating the public.
“Hence, the information people get should be empowering and lifesaving for public good not harmful to individual and corporate existence,” he concluded.