Fake news and presenting opinions as facts are chipping away at the credibility of the Ghanaian media, something if allowed unchecked, the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, is warning could make the people to lose their trust in them.
He said he found it deeply troubling the situation where fake news on social media are carried by the mainstream media without checking and cross-checking the facts.
In many instances misinformation in the digital media get migrated into the traditional media – newspapers and radio.
What happens is that when journalists publish any information that turns out to be false – untrue, trust in the media wanes. He said that was why it was important for journalists to make sure that they always got their facts right – did thorough background checks to satisfy themselves they the facts and figures, they had, were accurate before going public.
He underlined the need to uphold high journalistic standards, stick to the rudiments of journalism.
The competition, the eagerness and the haste to be the first to break the story should not rule over them.
Mr. Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah said this in a video message at the West Africa Media Excellence and Awards held in Accra. The event was organized by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA). “Information, digital media, regulation and journalism in Africa” was the theme chosen for the event, which brought together journalists, academia and civil society organizations from across the African continent.
It was used not only to recognize journalists for outstanding performance, but the event also provided the platform to discuss the challenges and changing trends in free expression, media development and access to information.
Mr. Oppong Nkrumah spoke of interventions put in place by the government to build the capacity of journalists to enable them to efficiently carry out their job of educating, informing and entertaining the people.
The President of the West Africa Bar Association, Mr. Femi Falana, called for the media to do self-regulation.
Editors, he said, needed to be more alert and when they got it wrong with their facts, quickly do a retraction and to apologize.
Content created and supplied by: KyeretwienanaOseiBonsu (via Opera News )
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